Diagnostic Pathology Residency
The Veterinary Pathology residency program in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is a three-year program designed to concurrently fulfill requirements for ACVP board eligibility and to partially fulfill the requirements for the PhD degree, unless the resident has previously attained the PhD degree. The resident will participate in diagnostic pathology services and in departmental instructional programs on a full-time basis. Time will be scheduled for instruction, seminars, conferences, guided self-study, and participation in research projects. Enrollment in up to 8 semester hours of graduate study per semester (5 in summer semester) can be scheduled. Specialty board certification is an important credential in veterinary medicine and the successful student will make an early commitment to preparation for the board examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP).
- DVM or its equivalent
- Completion of the Veterinary National Board Examination is desirable
- Academic qualifications acceptable for admission to the LSU Graduate School
The starting date and reappointment date is August 1 each year, unless negotiated otherwise and the appointment title is Resident and House Officer, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine.
Starting salary is $30,000 per annum. Appointments will be reviewed and renewed annually. Residency stipends last for 3 years. At that time the resident is expected to obtain graduate student funding either through grant support from the research mentor or through successful competition for an LSU Vet Med-wide stipend.
A three-year residency program, depending on the options followed, of diagnostic biopsy and necropsy rotations, classroom and laboratory education, and pathobiological research will meet the following objectives:
- Satisfy eligibility requirements and provide focused training for examination by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.
- Expose the students to research expertise in a field of their interest and to encourage their earning of a PhD degree in Veterinary Medical Sciences.
- Provide educational training required to teach in this field following completion of the training program.
- Provide the advanced training required to perform state of the art diagnostic and interpretive techniques in veterinary pathology.
- Provide training and experience in designing and conducting a pathology research project.
- Provide training and experience in the preparation of scientific data for publication and presentation.
- Provide familiarity with areas of comparative medicine through participation in research, conferences, and seminars.
Successful completion of the residency program will earn a certificate of residency in veterinary pathology and eligibility for the ACVP certification examination. Enrollment in the residency program can be separate or it can be incorporated into a PhD degree program. The latter is strongly encouraged unless the candidate already possesses the PhD degree.
Pathology Residency Guidance Committee
The resident will be assigned a guidance committee, which is composed of pathologists and which will oversee the progress of the training program, supervise preparation for the ACVP examination, encourage scholarly activities, and provide general counseling.
During the second year, a qualifying examination will be given by the guidance committee to those residents who will pursue the Ph.D. degree. Upon successful completion of this examination, the student will be eligible to formally become a Ph.D. student. The guidance committee will function until the oversight of the resident is discharged to the Graduate Advisory Committee or until completion of the residency, whichever comes first.
Tuition Waiver and Benefits
The University provides a waiver of tuition for full-time residents and house officers, as long as the semester-hour limit is not exceeded (8 hrs regular semesters, 5 hrs summer semester). After completion of the residency program, Ph.D. candidates in the LSU graduate school also have a full tuition waiver.
Residents are eligible for graduate student benefits including student insurance. They are allowed faculty parking privileges and 10 days of vacation per year, contingent upon approval of their guidance committee.
It is essential that residents take control of their cases in order to learn the profession; yet quality of results must be assured for our clientele. Therefore, residents will attend necropsy orientation with the VMED 5452 course. They will be trained in the Necropsy SOPs, Trimming SOPs, and Pathology SOPs by faculty pathologists and in the Safety SOPs by the SVM safety officer.
During the first 2 years of training, all necropsy and biopsy cases will be reviewed with the Duty Pathologist. Deficiencies will be discussed and remediated (for example, inadequate tissue sampling will result in the resident retrieving the wet tissues and trimming appropriate tissues, improper trimming technique will likewise result in retrimming of the wet tissues, inappropriate interpretations or comments will be corrected before the final report is submitted). The duty pathologist will sign out all reports.
Senior Residents will have increasing autonomy and will have signage privileges. However, at least 10% of all cases will be monitored by faculty pathologists assigned to the service with the senior pathologists. Cases will be selected at random and if problems either in content or timeliness are noted, they will be addressed with the Senior Resident. It is anticipated that initially 20-25% of the cases will be monitored with reduction to 10% as the faculty is convinced of reporting quality.
Residents will be evaluated annually to determine whether or not they are making satisfactory progress in their program. Evaluations are constructed by the Residency Coordinator with input from all faculty pathologists. The Resident will be evaluated on Scholarship, Service, Teaching, Attitude, and Areas of focus or needed improvement for the coming year. The evaluation is written and will be discussed individually between the Resident and Residency Coordinator. This evaluation will be used by the Residency Coordinator and guidance committee in making their recommendations to the Department Head regarding annual appointment renewal.
When residents enter their graduate training, the oversight of that resident is primarily transferred to the research mentor and graduate committee. Those who have selected Option 2 and, in some cases the Flexible Option, will have continuing obligations as described above and will continue to receive annual evaluations from the residency coordinator. The residents are encouraged to seek out research mentors with a history of research productivity and ongoing extramural support. In these settings, the resident will be expected to apply for NIH, K08 support, or USDA postdoctoral grants as applicable.
The resident will participate in the diagnostic activities of the necropsy laboratory for a minimum of 2 days each week.
The resident will participate in weekend and holiday diagnostic duty rotations under the supervision of departmental faculty and/or senior resident.
The resident will be placed on one week of biopsy service per month under the supervision of departmental faculty, when the guidance committee deems he/she is ready.
The resident will participate in the instructional activities of certain professional curriculum courses, i.e. VMED5173, 5241, 5242 and 5452.
The resident will participate in the weekly histopathology seminar, the gross pathology rounds, and other departmental training activities.
The resident may enroll the first semester in the Graduate School as approved by the guidance committee and may take graduate courses subject to the guidelines stated above.
The resident will be required to present at the PBS Graduate Symposium. The resident will be encouraged to attend and present at local and national scientific meetings.
Activities of Year I will be continued.
The residents who will continue in a PhD degree program will begin to identify and plan their research areas and activities. Also, they will complete the required laboratory rotations for PBS.
The residents will continue graduate course work as directed by their guidance committee.
Residents will be expected to have made at least one presentation at a regional or national meeting and are encouraged to submit at least one manuscript to a refereed journal for publication. Residents again are required to present at the PBS Graduate Symposium.
The resident will determine, subject to approval of the guidance committee, whether to pursue Option 1 or Option 2 for his/her Year III.
After successful completion of the Year II and satisfactory review by the guidance committee and the departmental pathologists, the resident will be granted Senior Resident status and will be given increased responsibilities, which include case coordinator status for necropsy and biopsy cases, and signage privileges for final reports.
At the discretion of the departmental pathologists, cases may be randomly selected for review to assure accuracy and evaluate the continued competency and progress of the Senior Resident.
Year III: Option 1
The resident must have successfully attained Senior Resident status to enter Option 2.
The term of service for Option 2 will be from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.
The Senior Resident will assume 50% FTE service commitments for the term of service based on the formula that 1 week of necropsy is equal to 2 weeks of service and 1 week of biopsy is equal to 1 week of service. Weekend and holiday service will be included in the responsibilities.
At completion of the Senior Residency, the resident is expected to sit for the board examination for the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Senior Resident pay will be extended from the June 30 end of the term of service until September 30 of that year. No additional service duties will be assigned during this time, but any remaining open cases for which the Senior Resident was responsible must be completed.
Up to 6 credit hours per semester of additional courses may be taken by the Senior Resident during the fall and spring semesters of the term of service.
After taking the exam, the Senior Resident is expected to enter a PhD program of study and to obtain funding for that program of study individually, through the support of the research mentor, or by successfully competing for a SVM graduate stipend. Continued participation in slide conference, gross rounds, and/or other activities that will help maintain pathology skills is encouraged.
Before completion of the program, at least 2 presentations approved by the committee and the submission of one manuscript for publication are required.
The resident will receive a certificate of residency at the satisfactory completion of Year III.
Year III, Option 2
Subject to approval of the guidance committee and the departmental pathologists, the resident will shift primary focus to the pursuit of the PhD degree. Completion of the third year of residency, as required by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists for board eligibility, will necessitate partial continuation of the Year I/II activities, including but not limited to 1 week of biopsy service per month, one weekend of necropsy service per month, and participation in holiday necropsy service. This continuation extends until completion of the PhD degree or for 3 years, whichever comes first. Continued participation in slide conference and gross rounds is required unless excused by the residency coordinator. The residency stipend with continue throughout the third year in order to compensate the research mentor for the time requirements for these continued activities.
Those pursuing the PhD degree will be actively involved in their dissertation research. All class work should be completed during this year.
A certificate of residency will be awarded upon successful completion.
The resident will be eligible for taking the ACVP certifying examination after completion of this program and with the signature of a sponsoring ACVP diplomate.
Before completion of the program, at least 2 presentations approved by the guidance committee and the submission of one manuscript for publication are required.
Occasionally, circumstances (e.g. funding stipulations or research obligations) may arise that prohibit a candidate from following either of the aforementioned options. In these cases the resident, along with the guidance committee, may formulate an individually tailored program. The program must then be approved by the pathology faculty.
Dr. Ingeborg Langohr
Department of Pathobiological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803