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Pathology Residency Program Frequently Asked Questions

Dragon Race

Kansas City is a great place to live! With a population of 2 million in the greater KC metro, we have all the big city amenities including Kansas City Power & Light District, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the KC Streetcar; 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 world famous Joe's Kansas City barbecue restaurant located in a gas station only blocks away from KU. They also love their sports teams (ChiefsRoyalsSporting KCKU 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. View more information
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, Kansas, boast some of the most livable cities in the country and are located within 10 minutes of the medical center. They are popular house and apartment locations for our faculty and residents. Check out,_Kansas and,_Missouri.
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, Waldo area, or Brookside.
Virtually all graduates, regardless of training program, pursue fellowship training. Approximately a third of our graduates stay in Kansas City for fellowships in Cytopathology, Hematopathology, or Surgical Pathology. 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 all over the country. 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.
Yes! We have a 100% pass rate over the past eight years in both anatomic and clinical pathology.
No! Pathology training at KU is very much focused on our residents. One benefit of a resident to fellow ratio of 18:4 is a lot of direct interaction with the clinical faculty and more direct responsibility for case management.
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 have annual joint faculty and resident outings and get-togethers such as a summer picnic and a winter party. We also like to host multiple program sponsored activities for residents and their families like movie nights, pumpkin carving contests, volunteer work, escape rooms, and competing in Kansas City's annual Dragon Boat Race.
 KU: >40,000 surgical accessions, >14,000 cytology accessions, 100 autopsies, 2.5 million laboratory determinations
 VA: >8,000 surgical accessions, 2.0 million laboratory determinations
 JCMEO: 1000 autopsies
 Children’s Mercy Hospital: 8,500 surgical accessions, 4,000 cytogenetic samples, 40 autopsies
All residents are required to complete a 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 fellowships and lays the foundation for an academic career and a career of life-long learning. Recent projects include case reports, case series, financial analyses, diagnostic concordance studies, tissue microarray, immunohistochemical and FISH studies. 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, and we have a flourishing research division on campus with whom we often collaborate.
At KU, surgical pathology is completely subspecialized so residents rotate through 2-week experiences in each subspecialty with exposure to most or all subspecialties every year.  Grossing, autopsy, and frozen section service is incorporated into each rotation and we have an excellent team of five certified pathology assistants and numerous surgical pathology techs for assisting on grossing and frozen days. Rotations take place at the main KU hospital, the adjacent Cambridge tower, and an outpatient surgery center close by, depending on the subspecialty. Each site has a fully equipped gross lab with frozen section capabilities and at least one pathology assistant and attending pathologist. All residents start out on the VA Hospital surgical pathology service, which is generalized sign out service on a two day grossing-sign out schedule, so residents get exposure to several sign out models during their four years.
No. Residents cover autopsy during surgical pathology rotations throughout their four years, getting sufficient medical autopsies during those days. During residents' 2nd year, they also rotate 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.
All new residents participate in "boot camp" training in the month of July, which includes introductory histology slide teaching sessions with faculty, as well as introductory didactic and hands-on training covering multiple rotations and topics. All PGY1 residents are paired with a senior resident during the whole first month of their surgical pathology/autopsy rotation at KU.  In addition, every incoming resident is assigned a faculty mentor who can provide career guidance, opportunities for research, and help you deal with the demands 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" PGY2 resident who can help you with questions on rotations, faculty, and study and service concerns. Our program and graduate medical education department both prioritize resident wellness and access to educational support services and counseling, as well as resources for moving to the KC area, childcare options, and navigating resident life is freely available. Above all, our faculty are all dedicated teachers and personally invested in each resident's training and progress.
KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Mail Stop 3045
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-7070
Fax: 913-588-7073