Department of Pathology Residency Program

Acting Medical Director Rotation

Length: one 3-month rotation

Graduated Responsibility: This advanced clinical pathology rotation, fondly known as the “Hot Seat”, is covered by more senior pathology residents (usually 3rd or 4th year residents) for a period of 3 months. Our Pathology residents are a very visible and valuable resource for clinicians at UNM Hospital, and there are myriad opportunities for multi-disciplinary interactions. This resident carries the weekday call pager (Monday - Friday from 8AM to 5PM) and assists clinicians with complex diagnostic issues. The Hot Seat resident may also participate in weekly medicine and pediatric rounds, as well as Thursday afternoon medicine didactic conferences as needed. Close relationships with the chief residents of those service lines is an expectation. There are multiple opportunities for teaching residents and fellows from other specialties. In turn, the pathology residents benefit from their clinician colleagues’ expertise.

Laboratory Exposure: The Hot Seat resident receives experience in the assessment and evaluation of critical care testing at the University Hospital Laboratory (UHL) and TriCore Reference Laboratories (TRL). The UHL’s menu is composed of tests needed for the acute management of emergency department patients, inpatients (adult, pediatric and neonatal), as well as labor and delivery. The remaining tests are sent to TRL. TRL is a large, comprehensive regional referral laboratory located one mile from the University Hospital. The TRL Chemistry Department has a comprehensive menu of endocrinology and therapeutic drug assays, as well as clinical and forensic toxicology testing services. For each month of the rotation, the resident is expected to act as the Medical Director for each of three sections of the Laboratory. The resident will choose which sections of the laboratory to oversee. These duties include Quality Control (QC) review, staff interactions, problem investigation and resolution as well as financial and budget review. The residents receive comprehensive local training (including test validation) in clinical pathology since very few tests (less than 1 percent overall) are sent out of state to esoteric referral laboratories.

Interaction with hospital and corporate leadership: Other Hot Seat resident opportunities include participation in laboratory leadership meetings, one-on-one interactions with the TriCore’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Medical Officer, and many other TRL corporate officers. In addition, there is also opportunity for meeting with both the UNM Hospital academic and management leadership via participation as the pathology resident representative on various UNM Hospital Committees. The Resident Council, the Graduate Medical Education Committee and the Medical Executive Committee are just a few examples.

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