Frequently Asked Questions
What is there to do in Kansas City? Isn't it just a Midwestern cow town?
is a great place to live! With a population of 2 million in the greater KC region, we have all the big city amenities, but it’s still a place where people smile and say hello to you on the street. Driving is a breeze and the cost of living is low. Our central location yields four distinct seasons, but without the extreme weather seen in other parts of the country. It is a city of rolling hills with abundant green spaces, famous fountains, and beautiful old neighborhoods. There is every cuisine imaginable but Cowtowners are passionate about their barbeque, including the world famous Oklahoma Joe’s
barbeque restaurant, located in a gas station only blocks away from KU. They also love their sports teams (Chiefs
, Sporting KC
, KU Jayhawks
and Missouri Tigers
). KC is the beta site for Google Fiber, the fastest internet service in the country. KCI airport
, one of the most convenient airports in the country for travelers, offers direct flights to 45 cities across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada and you can be on a beach in a few hours if the need strikes. Check out www.visitkc.com
s and https://fiber.google.com/about/
There are actually two Kansas Cities: one in Kansas (KCK
) and one in Missouri (KCMO
), separated by the Missouri River. Demographic growth has caused the two areas to merge geographically, and most folks tend to lump them together into a single place. Though the University of Kansas Hospital
is located in Kansas, it is a block from the state line and geographically closer to the downtown area of KCMO than that of KCK. KCMO has a much larger city center than KCK, and is the more traditional urban center of the two. Kansas City suburbs in Johnson County, Kansa
s, boast some of the most livable cities in the country and are located within 10 minutes of the medical center. They are popular with our faculty and residents with families. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_County,_Kansas
Where do residents live?
Kansas City has a wide variety of affordable and interesting housing options. Some residents purchase homes or rent in the aforementioned suburbs in Johnson County, KS, while others choose to live downtown near the Country Club Plaza
area, or Brookside
Where do program graduates end up?
Virtually all graduates, regardless of training program, pursue fellowship training. Approximately a third of our graduates stay at KU for fellowships in cytopathology or surgical pathology. The past year’s graduates are training in surgical pathology and cytopathology at KU, dermatopathology at Northwestern University Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical Center, and surgical pathology at Methodist Hospital in Texas. The current three-member PGY4 class will be training in hematopathology at Washington University and the University of Minnesota and cytopathology at KU. Fellowships in forensic pathology and pediatric pathology are also offered by our affiliates in Kansas City. Following fellowship, approximately 80% enter private practice in community hospitals and reference laboratories, and 20% pursue academic medical careers. Kansas City has a way of growing on people, and many of our graduates like to stay in the area after they finish their training.
Does the faculty focus on training their fellows at the expense of resident education?
No! Pathology training at KU is very much focused on our residents. While we do plan on increasing the number of fellowship training programs at KU, one benefit of a resident to fellow ratio of 16:3 is a lot of direct interaction with the clinical faculty and more direct responsibility for case management.
What should I expect on interview day at KU?
Interviews are scheduled for Saturdays in the Fall and include 10-16 applicants at once, so you’ll have plenty of company. They consist of a Friday night dinner with some of the residents and a Saturday faculty interview and tour of the University of Kansas Hospital. The department provides a one-night stay at the brand new Holiday Inn Express
on 3932 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City KS.
KU residents will meet you in the Hotel lobby at 6 PM Friday and take you to dinner at a restaurant on the Kansas City Plaza
. There will be about one KU resident per 3-4 applicants. There are no faculty at this dinner: this is your chance to ask anything you don’t feel comfortable discussing in front of the clinical faculty. The residents will drop you off at the Holiday Inn Express after dinner so you can get a good night’s rest. The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast Saturday morning. The Holiday Inn is directly across from the medical center
, so you can walk over after breakfast. Applicants are randomly assigned to groups A and B, with the A group beginning at 8:30 AM and finishing at 2 PM, and the B group starting at 10:30 AM and wrapping up at 4 PM. Go to the University of Kansas Hospital lobby via the front entrance indicated on the map, where you and the other interviewees in your group will be met by our program coordinator, Amy Moten, or one of the residents. Plan on getting to the Hospital lobby at least 5 minutes prior to your interview start time (e.g. either 8:25 or 10:25 AM). Amy or one of the residents will walk you up to the Boley-Mantz conference room in Surgical Pathology, which will serve as your home base during the interview. You can leave bags here if need be. Faculty interviews are conducted in the Surgical Pathology offices next door.
Do the residents hang out together?
While every class is different, we find that our program’s medium size tends to promote close friendships, and many of our residents enjoy spending time together outside of work as well as onsite. We also have joint Faculty and resident outings and get-togethers. In the past year, we held a picnic in a local park and visited a museum on the history of medicine. The program director, Dr. Fraga, has incoming residents over to his house for a meal. The chairman, Dr. Tilzer, celebrates the end of the year by inviting all the residents to his house for a paella dinner.
What is the annual volume of cases at KU and its teaching affiliates?
• KU: 25,000 surgical accessions, 12,700 cytology accessions, 100 autopsies, 2.4 million laboratory determinations
• VA: 7,500 surgical accessions, 2.0 million laboratory determinations
• JCMEO: 1000 autopsies
• Children’s Mercy Hospital: 7,500 surgical accessions, 4,000 cytogenetic samples, 40 autopsies
What research opportunities are available at KU?
While the majority of our residents ultimately pursue careers in community practice, all residents are required to complete a small scientific project during their training. This can be in the form of a poster or platform presentation at a national meeting, or a publication in a recognized journal. A record of scientific achievement is helpful in securing desirable fellowships and lays the foundation for an academic career for those so inclined. Recent projects include case reports, case series, financial analyses, diagnostic concordance studies, tissue microarray, immunohistochemical and FISH testing. For those who are interested in a more intense research experience, KU is affiliated with the Stowers Institute for Medical Research
, one of the top independently funded research centers in the country.
How is the SP rotation at KU Hospital organized?
SP at KU is a four-resident service, organized into four days. Day 1 consists of grossing large complicated specimens and performing intraoperative consultations. We have two full-time pathology assistants with four other surgical pathology techs to assist with the workload, freeing up residents to spend most of their time with complicated specimens. Days 2 and 3 are spent previewing surgical pathology cases, entering diagnoses, and signing out the cases one-on-one with the faculty members. Day 4 is spent previewing biopsies in the morning and signing them out with staff in the afternoon. The day 4 resident is also responsible for covering autopsies when they arise. We recognize that it can be a stressful rotation, so new residents are paired with a senior resident for the first two weeks. We also strive to place residents at the VA prior to KU AP. The VA has a slower pace and is the perfect place to begin your training in anatomic pathology, particularly if you are relatively inexperienced.
Do residents have trouble getting their autopsy numbers?
No. Residents spend lots of days on autopsy coverage throughout their four years, getting many medical autopsies during those days. We do share most of our cases with other residents to help meet board requirements. During residents’ 2nd year, they spend one rotation at the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office (JCMEO), where they average 3-4 autopsies per day. Residents have the opportunity to pursue extra autopsy cases while there if they are interested. Additional elective rotations are available at JCMEO for those interested in pursuing a career in forensics.
What sort of guidance is offered to new residents?
Every incoming resident is assigned a staff mentor. New residents are expected to meet with their mentor at least twice per year. Faculty mentors can provide career guidance, opportunities for research, and help you deal with the stress of residency. Many of our faculty mentors trained at KU, and they are intimately familiar with the different hospitals and rotations that comprise the program. New residents are also assigned a “big sib” – a senior resident who can help you with questions on rotations, faculty, and study and service concerns.
Oct 28, 2013