Department of Pathology Fellowships

Surgical Pathology Fellowship

The University of New Mexico Health Science Center (UNM HSC) is a 500 bed tertiary medical center in Albuquerque, NM. This 1-year fellowship provides extensive training in all major areas of surgical pathology (gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, gynecologic, breast, bone and soft tissue, head and neck, genitourinary, etc.). UNM faculty members are energetic, knowledgeable, and eager to teach.

UNM HSC is the only academic medical center in the state of NM, ensuring a vast variety of interesting, complex, and unusual cases across all major subspecialties in this underserved state. This fellowship will provide the fellow with the necessary skills and experience to transition to thrive in any setting (academics or private practice).

The program offers graduated responsibility to independently render frozen section interpretation, and review subspecialized consultation material. Capable fellows will be transitioned to junior attending status with independent sign-out responsibilities during the latter half of the year. The fellow will also participate in resident training, gross room oversight, and interdisciplinary conferences at the UNM NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.

UNM HSC’s partnership with TriCore Reference Laboratories provides for an extensive array of molecular, cytogenetic, and immunohistochemical testing which greatly enriches the fellow’s training in how to interpret and when to order these essential ancillary tests in common cancer specimens. Research opportunities are also available and encouraged.

New Mexico's mild four-season climate and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities (excellent biking, hiking, fishing, and skiing) combined with a rich cultural heritage and great local cuisine complement to these educational opportunities.

- Director, Surgical Pathology Fellowship Program

Teaching Faculty

Joshua Hanson, MD
Joshua Hanson, MD completed a gastrointestinal pathology fellowship at Yale University and shares his GI expertise with us and our trainees on a daily basis.

photo of Nancy Joste

Nancy Joste, M.D., Professor, Interim Department Chair
Nancy Joste, M.D. trained at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and has subspecialty expertise in gynecologic pathology and cytopathology.

photo of David Martin

David Martin, MD
David Martin, MD has a special interest in gastrointestinal and liver pathology. He completed a fellowship in gastrointestinal and liver pathology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

photo of Samuel Reynolds

Samuel Reynolds, M.D., Associate Professor
Samuel Reynolds, M.D., has a subspecialty interest in lung and sarcoma pathology. He completed a cytopathology fellowship here at UNM.

photo of Karen SantaCruz

Karen SantaCruz, MD
Karen SantaCruz, MD completed her neuropathology training at the University of California Irvine. Her expertise is in brain tumors and the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases.

photo of Marlena Chavez

Marlena Chavez, PA
Marlena Chavez, PA is our junior pathology assistant and brings great enthusiasm and passion for training residents and fellows.

Current Surgical Pathology Fellow

photo of Catherine Nicka

Catherine Nicka, MD
Degree: MD from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
AP/CP Residency: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Forensic Fellowship: The University of New Mexico

Testimonials from Former Fellows


“The number of interesting and challenging cases was surprising and that provided great material for learning. Faculty members were always approachable to review interesting cases. The frozen section elective was a particularly valuable and fun experience as a preparation for future practice.”

Amer Mahmoud, MD

Fellowship Alumni & Their Current Positions

Year Fellow Position after training
2017 Colleen “Kelly” Goff, MD Visiting Assistant Professor, UNM Pathology, Albuquerque, NM
2016 Nour Yadak, MD Assistant Professor, Methodist University Hospital, Memphis, TN
2014 Amer Mahmoud, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Pathology Associates of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM
2013 Mona Elsakka, MD Pathologist, Phoenix, AZ
2012 Giovanni Insuasti-Beltran, MD Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, AR
2011 Carmen Frias Kletecka, MD Assistant Professor of clinical pathology, LSU, New Orleans, LA
2010 Arthur D. Somoza, MD Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth, OH
2008 Melissa A. Myrsiades, MD Tri-City Medical Center, Oceanside, CA
2007 Allen H. Leung, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU School of Medicine
2006 Nancy Kang-Davis, MD Pathologist, Slidell, LA
2004 Lian Bonds, MD Pathologist, Denver, CO

Recently Published Books

Minimal Criteria for Acceptance:

Successful completion of a combined Anatomic Pathology/Clinical Pathology (AP/CP) or AP only Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited pathology residency program. US citizenship, permanent residency (green card), or J-1 visa required. UNM does not accept H1-B visa status for residents or fellows.

Application Details:

Interested eligible pathologists should contact:

Kristen Broesder, Medical Education Program Specialist
Phone: 505-925-0516

To apply, submit:

  • CAP Standardized Fellowship Application Form
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copies of USMLE Step I, II, III scores
  • Medical School Transcript
  • Three Letters of Recommendation, one of which should come from your program director
  • ECFMG certification, if applicable

Personal interviews will be scheduled for selected candidates once all required application materials are received. The UNM Department of Pathology will provide one night’s lodging and transportation from the airport.

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