Surgical Pathology Fellowship

Program Overview

The Surgical Pathology Fellowship at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a one-year, ACGME-accredited, fully-funded program that admits one fellow per year.

Program Details

The Surgical Pathology Fellowship includes training in all aspects of adult and pediatric surgical pathology. Applicants should be board-certified or board-eligible in combined Anatomic/Clinical Pathology or Anatomic Pathology only.

Our Team

Goals and Objectives

The aim of the Surgical Pathology Fellowship is to assure competency in general surgical pathology through mandatory rotations in all subspecialty areas; to provide flexibility for advanced study in subspecialties determined by the fellow; to develop habits of inquiry and critical thinking through a required research project; to advance the fellow’s knowledge of systems issues through required participation in a QI project; and of most  importance, to further advance the fellow’s medical knowledge, build the fellow’s professional  confidence, and develop the fellow’s skills as an educator, by having the fellow serve in a variety of teaching roles.

The fellow will be evaluated on the six core competencies of Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice Based Learning and  Improvement, Systems Based Practice,  Interpersonal Skills and Communication, and Professionalism, through self, peer, staff and faculty evaluations.

The fellow will complete mandatory rotations in all subspecialty areas, as aforementioned; this comprises nine two-week rotations. The fellow, if deemed competent, will advance to a teaching role after these mandatory core rotations. The benefit of being in a one-on-one teaching role needs to be balanced against the benefit of additional experience in the subspecialties most needed by the fellow. This will be accomplished by requiring that a minimum of five two-week rotations during the second block be in a teaching role with a junior resident, with the flexibility to select the remaining three two-week cycles according to need for additional experience, regardless of whether a junior resident is on that service or not.

The fellow will have six two-week elective rotations. The final four weeks of the year are vacation time.

The fellow will complete a Quality Assurance Project and present this in the spring. The fellow will perform a research project with the expectation that the project be submitted for presentation or publication during or shortly after the end of the fellowship year.

The fellow will prepare and present three themed hour-long conferences at the Surgical Pathology Unknowns Conference; this is felt to be of more educational value than a larger number of isolated case presentations. The fellow will serve in a leadership role in Surgical Pathology Unknowns Conference by routinely being the individual who drives the slides and leads the residents in discussion of the cases.

In order to develop competence and confidence presenting in interdisciplinary conferences, the fellow will have a longitudinal experience with a single tumor board, as this develops familiarity with subject matter and clinical decision making in that clinical discipline as well as building a relationship with clinical colleagues in a particular discipline. The fellow will be allowed to chose a tumor board if he or she enters the program with a subspecialty interest. Otherwise, the fellow will be assigned to the GU tumor board, as this is a good clinical group to work with; the cases are interesting and varied, the preparation time is not unmanageable, and it is a real-time patient management conference.

Another aspect of the fellow’s training in the area of education is program review. The fellow will participate with the Fellowship Committee in the annual review of the Fellowship Program to offer insight, perspective and suggestions for improvement.

To Apply

Applications are currently being accepted for 2019-2020.

To apply, please forward your complete application electronically via email to Program Director Dr. Catherine Abendroth at and copy Program Coordinator Beth Shultz at

Your complete application will include:

  • CAP Standardized Pathology Fellowship Application
  • A cover letter with personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A copy of USMLE test scores (or equivalent)
  • A letter of recommendation and verification of training from current/most recent program director
  • Two to three additional letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation may be sent under separate cover directly from your references, but should still be sent electronically.

Applicants should:

  • Be board-certified or board-eligible in combined Anatomic/Clinical Pathology or Anatomic Pathology only
  • Be eligible for PA license
  • Be U.S. citizens or holders of Green Cards or J1 visas
  • Have USMLE scores of at least 215 or equivalent


Current Fellows

Past Fellows

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Penn State College of Medicine is an equal-opportunity employer and accepts all qualified applications regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or religious background.