By Steven C. Smith, MD, PhD, FASCP
As an attending surgical pathologist with subspecialty practice in soft tissue pathology, I can’t help but chuckle at the idea of covering the whole field of soft tissue pathology in 45 minutes. Yet, I am still close enough to studying for and taking my boards to remember the need for a high-yield, rapid fire review of a wide range of testable entities; it just helps structure and reinforce your learning and review.
Thus, for residents (and increasingly for those in practice, with maintenance and “continuous” board certification programs) Carole Vogler, MD, FASCP and I will undertake a rollercoaster review of soft tissue pathology in a Resident Review Session at the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting. Dr. Vogler teaches the other half of the course, a similarly intensive but nonetheless expansive survey across medical renal pathology, targeted to key, classic entities in that area.
Speaking to resident attendees before and after the course, I have noted that several have endorsed having attended the review more than once during residency. I think this reflects one key advantage of having the review course concurrently with the Annual Meetings: residents are able to get the value of both a boards review course and an annual meeting for their (usually) limited travel budgets. This ongoing dialog with the audience has led me to annually rotate in and out of the lecture an ever increasing number of entities; the result is my building an ever more comprehensive study handout to take home for review, while keeping the lecture to the allotted time.
Beyond test prep and review, I hope the course allows me to impart my enthusiasm for this area. When soft tissue pathology was only about morphology, degree of experience and case volume were paramount. Now with better ancillaries and markers, challenging differentials may be resolved if you know context and the right questions to ask. Intrigued? See you in October.
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Steven Smith, MD, PhD, FASCP, is Director of Soft Tissue and Genitourinary Pathology at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Va. Carole Vogler, MD, FASCP, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. They will co-present the Resident Review Course: Renal and Soft Tissue Pathology on Oct. 5 at the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting.