This program aims to train specialist anatomical pathologists and is often chosen by residents considering a career in academic pathology. The basic program is made up of an initial 18 months of core training in anatomical pathology, followed by rotations in the subspecialty areas of cytopathology, neuropathology, forensic pathology and others. The program includes a minimum elective period of six months, which allows some degree of focus on subspecialty areas. Residents have increased levels of clinical and administrative responsibility throughout the training program, and are actively involved in the research and educational activities of the department.
The PGY-2 year consists of forty-eight weeks of exposure to autopsy pathology and surgical pathology. The PGY-2 year is spent exclusively at the University of Alberta Hospital site. While the University of Alberta Hospital is a tertiary care facility, the laboratory does provide outreach services to part of northern Alberta, and consequently, the residents are exposed to material from doctors' offices and community hospitals in addition to the surgical suites at the UAH. During this time, the resident will be exposed to some (e.g., gastrointestinal, hepatic, pulmonary pathology) but not all subspecialty areas of pathology.
During the first two weeks, a senior resident is assigned to the PGY-2 residents to acquaint them in detail with requirements for gross dissection, etc. Faculty are available as further support. The residents rotate through routines on a daily basis as follows: On day one, the residents cover the autopsy service (including pediatric and adult cases) as well as the frozen section bench, reporting endoscopic biopsies from a variety of body sites. On day two, the resident grosses specimens in the pathology laboratory. On the third and fourth days, they sign out those cases which they have grossed, or which have been grossed by the pathologist's assistant, with a staff pathologist. In addition to the senior residents, a pathologist's assistant is also available. With regards to surgical pathology, all cases reviewed in the department go in the first instance to a holding area in the laboratory so that residents, pressure of other duties permitting, can review any material which is of interest.
The PGY-3 and PGY-4 years include further training in autopsy pathology and surgical pathology and provide for elective time, research time, and subspecialty rotations. The subspecialty areas include a twelve-week rotation in Cytopathology and Forensic Pathology; an eight-week rotation in Neuropathology; a six-week rotation in Gynecological Pathology; and four-week rotations in Oncologic Pathology, Electron Microscopy, Dermatopathology and Breast/GU Pathology. Pediatric Pathology at the University of Alberta Hospital is incorporated into the daily routines for the residents. At the Royal Alexandra Hospital, specific rotations are available in perinatal and neonatal pathology and a one-month period at the Children's Hospital of Alberta in Calgary, or similar institution, is also encouraged (but not required) for the residents. These rotations fulfil he requirements for training. Some subspecialty rotations are done at the UAH, others at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Misericordia Hospital or DKML base laboratory. Forensic Pathology is done at the Chief Medical Examiner's Office.
The PGY-5 year may include subspecialty rotations not included in the PGY-4 year. However, for the most part, the final year is tailored to suit the needs and interests of particular residents. There is a requirement for residents to attend the seminar programs in Laboratory Management, but these are the only mandatory requirements of training at this stage.