Consult Block

Goals and Objectives

Level: PGY5

  • The intent of this block is to provide the PGY5 resident an exposure to the range of consults that come in for subspecialist evaluation. The resident is expected to become proficient in the unique aspects of consult practice in term of report writing, literature referencing and the unique workflow of consult material.
  • As this block is taken on by the PGY-5 resident, cases will be routed directly to them, and they are expected to treat these cases as their own, using both standard texts and literature searches to solve the necessary problems.
  • Although the cases completed by the resident will not always receive priority by the staff pathologist, it is expected that the staff pathologist will be available at some point for review with the resident as deemed necessary by both the pathologist and the resident.
  • By the end of their rotation, the PGY-5 is expected to post at least 3 cases from their block to the unknown web cases on the anatomical pathology website.
  • The standard structure of the rotation is as follows. However the resident, in discussion with the program director and the administrative assistant (who will assign the cases), may alter the order or content in order to increase exposure to a desired specialty:
    • 1 week - GI and gyne
    • 1 week - Breast, GU and soft tissue
    • 1 week - Head and neck and thoracic
    • 1 week - Soft tissue and thoracic
  • When there is a resident on the same service as the resident on consult block (eg a resident on GI or gyne during the first week of the consult block), the resident on the consult block takes priority for consult cases. They should, however, make efforts go over the interesting cases with the resident on service.
  • Evaluation: This rotation is input from the who reviewed consultation cases with the resident. The resident’s progress is discussed with him/her at least once during the rotation.

Medical Expert

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the anatomy and histology of the various organ systems seen in consultation.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in interpretation of common biopsy and resection specimens seen in consultation. Demonstrate an ability to recognize the common pitfalls in these interpretations.


  • Demonstrate the ability to function at a junior staff pathologist level in the interpretation and writing of consults.
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand the request of the consulting pathologist or clinician and to address these requests in the consult report.
  • Demonstrate the ability to teach some of the knowledge acquired during this block through the forum of the unknown web cases.


  • Understand the importance of external consultation as a mechanism of quality control and quality assurance.

Health Advocate/Professional

  • Understand the importance of timely consult reports both in the name of efficient, timely patient care as well as professional courtesy to the consulting pathologist


  • Review the pertinent recent literature regarding cases received in consultation.

Rotation Activities

  1. Clinical Activities: The resident will meet with the consult block director and go over this document and the overall aspects of the rotation on the first day of the rotation.

  2. Unknown web cases: The resident will choose a minimum of 3 of their cases from this block, and post them with relevant clinical histories and immunohistochemical stains as unknown web cases.

  3. This rotation is input from that reviewed consultation cases with the resident. The resident’s progress is discussed with him/her at least once during the rotation.


Updated April, 2020

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