University of Wisconsin Center for Health Sciences

Program Information

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The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offers both a 4-year AP/CP program and starting with the 2021-22 academic year, a 3-year AP-only or 3-year CP-only program, with training in all disciplines of pathology. UW-Madison is a top-10 ranked institution in federal research funding and is a major organ transplantation center. UW also hosts the NCI-designated UW Carbone Cancer Center and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Research Center. As a result, our Pathology Residency program is particularly strong in both the AP- and CP-based evaluation of neoplasia, transplant pathology, hematopathology, neuropathology, endocrine cytology, surgical pathology, and molecular diagnostics. Unlike many other academic centers, UW maintains a strong forensic pathology program with three dedicated faculty members providing forensic autopsy services to Madison and surrounding areas. Our program is resident centered. Residents participate in daily didactic and scope-based teaching sessions and in one on-one sign out with faculty. Our CP rotation is designed to achieve a team-based and patient-centered approach to the clinical laboratory with a focus on high impact, “pathologist-level,” learning opportunities. Residents are actively encouraged to teach and to participate in research projects. Numerous opportunities are provided to teach at the medical student and allied health student levels. Unique to our program is a departmentally funded translational research laboratory to help resident research projects get off to a quick and successful start without having to wait for more extensive grant funding. Recently, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health made a substantial commitment to global health education and service, including approval of funding for international health rotations for residents in all disciplines. Global health education and service are important areas for pathologist involvement and leadership, and we are currently designing international health elective rotations to incorporate into our program. Finally, while excellent fellowship training in hematopathology, cytopathology, and surgical pathology is available at UW, we are committed to maintaining a resident-centered program where residents perform primary analyses of nearly all specimens, including the “most interesting” ones, and where one-on-one teaching with faculty is the rule. The department has 42 full-time faculty members, 34 of whom are actively engaged in clinical and teaching activities with residents. A list of department faculty including their areas of research interests is available at

Twenty residency positions, five subspecialty fellowships (cytopathology, hematopathology, transfusion medicine, breast/gyn, and GI/Liver) and one translational research fellowship are available. Typically, four to six residents are recruited through the NRMP Match process each year. FACILITIES A majority of pathology training is offered in the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (505 beds) and the connected William S. Middleton Veterans Affairs Hospital (150 beds). Two closely located private hospitals in Madison, St. Mary’s Hospital (352 beds) and UnityPoint-Meriter Hospital (358 beds), provide additional experiences in surgical pathology, cytology, dermatopathology, and hematopathology, allowing for residents to experience practice in a non-academic setting. These hospitals annually provide over 500 autopsies, 73,000 surgicals (36,000 at UW/VA), 30,500 cytologies, and more than 4,700,000 laboratory tests. University Hospital’s Clinical Labs offers a wide range of highly complex testing including molecular diagnostics and histocompatibility and are staffed with experienced technologists.

Madison, the state capital, is situated on four picturesque lakes 150 miles northwest of Chicago. The high percentage of academic professional personnel among the metropolitan population of approximately 300,000 has been a stimulus for the city and the university to offer a wide variety of educational, cultural and recreational opportunities while maintaining the safety, easy livability, and feeling of community of a small city. Madison and surrounding suburbs are repeatedly cited as “Best Places to Live,” due in part to an excellent public education system, a liberal and tolerant attitude towards diversity, excellent restaurants, and superb university and city facilities for year-round outdoor activities. Madison marks the Eastern edge of the “Driftless” region, a portion of Western Wisconsin and Southern Minnesota that remained unglaciated in the last ice age, resulting in a hilly, stream-filled landscape quite different than the flat acres of corn and wheat typical of most of the Midwest. This makes for beautiful hiking, rock-climbing, and some of the best road biking in the country.

Application Instructions

All applications must be submitted through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). A minimum score of 210 on parts 1 and 2 of the USMLE is required. Non-citizen candidates must have resident alien status or have a J1 clinical visa. H1B Visas are NOT accepted. Completed applications and three letters of reference should be received via ERAS by October 15. For more information, please visit our website at

US GRADUATES Applicants must apply by October 15th through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Application materials should include/fulfill the following requirements: 3 letters of recommendation MSPE (Dean’s letter) Official transcript USMLE or COMLEX scores: A minimum passing score of 210 is generally required on Step 1 (first or second attempt only). Step 2 & 3 scores are not required for application; however, successful completion of Step 2 (CK & CS) is required before the start of residency. A minimum COMLEX Level 1 score of 450 is also generally required. Not more than 10 years from receipt of M.D./D.O. degree 2. Interviews will be granted on the basis of academic achievement, and evaluation of personal statement and letters of recommendation.

INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL GRADUATES (IMGS) Applicants must complete an application form and provide appropriate documentation via ERAS: Official transcript A copy of current and valid ECFMG certificate 3 letters of recommendation Dean’s letter (MSPE) Official Medical School transcript USMLE score(s): A minimum score of 210 is generally required on Step 1 first or second attempt only. Passing Step 2 is required on first or second attempt. Permanent U.S. Resident or J-1 clinical visa only Not more than 10 years from medical school, unless under mitigating circumstances. Preference is given to those with US clinical experience.


First year to Board eligibility, $60,090; second, $62,128; third, $64,562; fourth, $67,461 (2019-20). Benefits include health insurance, disability, social security, and liability insurance. The department provides $850 in professional funds book allowance, 15 days of vacation, and funding available for attendance and presentations at national meetings. Residents may apply for housing in the University-owned apartments or may obtain private housing. Housing costs are quite reasonable in Madison, and many residents and fellows choose to purchase houses or condos.