Dear prospective resident applicants,
Welcome to the Pathology Residency Training Program at Wake Forest School of Medicine! Thank you for your interest and for taking time to learn more about our program. We'd like to share with you some of the highlights of our program from a resident’s perspective, to help make your process of choosing a residency program a bit easier.
There are numerous benefits of training at Wake Forest. In surgical pathology, we have a large number of cases that are diverse, ranging from small biopsies to complex cancer resections, and from common to extremely rare diagnoses. With the help of our wonderful pathology assistant group, residents are able to focus only on grossing educational specimens. As a resident, you have graduated responsibility to work-up cases, which allows one to establish confidence and be prepared for independent practice. With the support of expert faculty, we present in multidisciplinary tumor boards and are involved in consultation with clinicians.
We also have exceptional training in autopsy pathology under the supervision of 6 expert forensic pathologists. Residents gain graduated independence from performing common drug overdose cases and complicated homicide cases to hospital cases with multiple comorbidities. On the cytology rotation, residents have the autonomy to perform fine needle aspirations with back-up from our knowledgeable faculty and experienced cytotechnologists. Residents obtain diagnostic skills through exposure to a large volume and diverse cytology cases
In clinical pathology we take an active role in the laboratories and we interact with clinicians regarding a wide range of topics and use our clinical skills to recommend laboratory tests, explain abnormalities and report critical values. As in anatomic pathology, we always have expert faculty available for consultation when necessary.
Our program realizes that everyone is unique and allows us to tailor our training to fit our career goals. We have elective rotations early on and we do research, quality improvement projects, and can acquire additional exposure to subspecialties. Away rotations are also possible if interested. With ample support for scholarly activities from faculty, our residents are able to present their original research at local and national conferences. Financial support to attend these conferences is provided by the Department. Many residents stay at Wake Forest for fellowships (Cytology, Dermatopathology, Forensic Pathology, Hematopathology, and Surgical Pathology) and faculty positions but they also are able to obtain competitive fellowships in other areas should they choose to leave.
Another important aspect of our program that deserves mentioning is the amazing collegiality among residents and faculty. We are proud of the fact that our program incorporates people with diverse backgrounds, goals, strengths, academic and clinical interests, which is an invaluable resource to our current training and future career. There are always people available if you have a question about a situation, need second opinion on a diagnosis, have to switch calls, or just want to take a coffee or lunch break. It really makes life easier when you have the support of your fellow residents. Of note, we really enjoy the personal workspace provided for residents, cubicles for first year residents and individual offices for all upper level residents with microscopes and double-screen computers for everyone.
Most of us live in the nearby community (some in the same apartment building!), so it is easy to get together outside of work to build on friendships started in the workplace.
In addition, Winston-Salem is an amazing place to live. This medium-sized city, with a population of about 250,000, has the perfect balance of having everything you could need, while also feeling like a small town. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this city and nearby community: beautiful trails around mountains and lakes to hike and bike, diverse restaurants and bars to enjoy, live music venues, sporting events, museums, parks, and great schools for kids. We are 30-40 minutes away from Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock state parks. We are also a short drive to the Great Smoky Mountains, the beach, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Charleston. The expense of living at Winston Salem and surrounding cities is low. It is affordable to purchase a house with a resident’s salary and quite a few of us chose to be homeowners during residency. The closest airport (Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro) is only a half-hour drive with both Charlotte and Raleigh airport within only 1.5-hour drives.
There is more we can tell you why we think Wake Forest is an outstanding place to train for a career in pathology. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us and we would love to tell you more about our program. We look forward to meeting you soon!
William Beuerlein, DO and Dongfang Yu, MD, PhD
Chief residents 2020-2021