Genitourinary Pathology

Goals and Objectives

Level: PGY2, PGY3, PGY5

  • Junior residents are expected to complete 1 block in genitourinary pathology during PGY-2 and 2 additional blocks in PGY-3 - PGY-5, during which knowledge is extended and fortified.
  • The staff pathologist is expected to provide an appropriate volume of cases for review based on the PGY-2 resident’s level of training in these areas with the understanding that greater responsibility and workload will be taken on in PGY-3.
  • Additionally, while PGY-2 residents are expected to be present at all interdisciplinary rounds in these major subspecialties, they are not expected to present cases while a more senior resident is on service.
  • Furthermore, staff pathologists are required to be present at all interdisciplinary rounds during which a resident is presenting, particularly for PGY2.
  • During the PGY-3 year, while completing the 2-block rotations in the major areas of subspecialty, the resident is expected to prepare for and present cases at all interdisciplinary rounds, and, with staff pathologist supervision and guidance, answer questions and take part in discussion during said rounds.
  • All residents are expected to complete an end-of-rotation exam, consisting of written, slide and oral components. Exams will be prepared based on level of training.

The PGY-5 year is one of senior leadership and the resident should be able to assume responsibility for organizing the service and supervising junior residents and students. The resident should have mastery of the information contained in standard texts and be prompt in using the literature to solve specific problems. The resident will be responsible for presentations at conferences and for teaching junior residents and students on a routine basis. The PGY 5 should begin to have an understanding of the role of the practitioner in an integrated health care delivery system and to be aware of the issues in health care management facing patients and physicians.

Specific Objectives

At the completion of the rotation (all 3 blocks), the resident will have acquired the following competencies and will function effectively as:

Medical Expert/Clinical Decision-Maker

Rotation Objectives

  • Understand the anatomy of the genitourinary (GU) tract in both males and females and apply this knowledge when evaluating surgical specimens.
  • Become familiar with major disease processes, both neoplastic and non-neoplastic, affecting the genital tract (kidneys, testicles, bladder, prostate, penis).
  • Describe gross and microscopic findings in GU specimens using traditional anatomical pathology terminology and produce clear and concise gross and microscopic reports.
  • Use immunohistochemistry, special stains and other ancillary tests when applicable.
  • Demonstrate diagnostic skills for accurate diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate effective consultation services with respect to referral in consultation cases.

Clinical Expectations

  • Gross large specimens 1-2 times a week.  These include, but are not limited to, nephrectomies, orchiectomies, cystectomies, prostatectomies and penectomies.
  • Attempt to follow-up on all cases grossed through to final diagnosis.
  • Review slides for cases prior to sign-out. This will include checking relevant prior history and completing clear and concise microscopic dictations, utilizing appropriate ancillary tests as necessary.
  • Review standard reference material and current literature for selected cases.


General Requirements

  • Discuss cases with other surgical pathologists and members of the health care team in terms of diagnosis and prognosis.

Specific Requirements

  • Assist in the continuing education of physicians and other members of the hospital staff by participating in educational rounds/clinical review forums such as surgical pathology rounds.
  • Act as consultants to clinical colleagues on the interpretation and relevance of pathology findings, with particular regard to their significance in the management of the patient.
  • Understand the information a pathology report should provide in a given clinical situation and be able to communicate it effectively in an oral or written form.


General Requirements

  • Consult effectively with other physicians and health care professionals.
  • Contribute effectively to other interdisciplinary team activities.
  • Understand the role of the pathologist as a "gate-keeper" in patients entering clinical trials.

Specific Requirements

  • Utilize experience in clinical medicine and surgery to achieve a sound understanding of the effects of disease and the role of pathology in its management.
  • Demonstrate the ability to advise on the appropriateness of obtaining histologic and cytologic specimens and following examination of these to advise on further appropriate investigation.


General Requirements

  • Utilize resources of the pathology laboratory effectively to achieve an accurate diagnosis.
  • Work effectively and efficiently in a health care organization.
  • Utilize information technology to optimize patient care and learning activities.

Specific Requirements

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the methods of quality control in the histopathology and immunohistochemistry laboratory.

Health Advocate

General Requirements

  • Identify the important determinants of health affecting patients including screening as it applies to the control of disease.
  • Recognize and respond to those issues where advocacy is appropriate.

Specific Requirements

  • As members of an interdisciplinary team of professionals responsible for individual and population in health care, the surgical pathologist will endeavour to ensure that laboratory practices are regularly evaluated to determine that they meet the community needs.


General Requirements

  • Develop, implement and monitor a personal continuing education strategy with respect to surgical pathology.
  • Critically appraise sources of medical information and recognize the current best sources for research reporting.
  • Facilitate learning of patients, residents, students and other health professionals.
  • Contribute to the development of new knowledge.

Specific Requirements

  • A small research project or case report should be discussed with a rotation supervisor (pathologist) during the rotation. This could be presented at any number of forums ranging from surgical pathology rounds to national meetings.


General Requirements

  • Deliver highest quality care with integrity, honesty and compassion.
  • Exhibit appropriate personal and interpersonal professional behaviours.
  • Practice surgical pathology ethically consistent with obligations of a physician.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to gender, culture, and ethnicity pertinent to anatomic pathology.

Specific Requirements

  • Act as an appropriate role model for students and others.
  • Demonstrate a professional attitude to colleagues, as well as to other laboratory staff.
  • Have an appreciation of the crucial role of the anatomical pathologist in providing quality patient care. This will include knowledge of individual professional limitations and the necessity of seeking appropriate second opinions.


  • Final evaluation to be completed by the GU pathologists encountered during the rotation. The GU section head evaluation will include results of the:
    • written test (short answer questions)
    • slide test
    • oral examination
  • Mid-rotation evaluation to be completed by the GU section head with input from other GU pathologists.
  • Expectations will be graded according to the level of training

References And Recommended Reading

  • Urologic Surgical Pathology (Bostwick and Cheng)
  • WHO Classification - Tumours of the Urinary System and Male Genital Organs
  • Sternberg’s Diagnostic Surgical Pathology
  • Robbins and Cotran - Pathologic Basis of Disease
  • Please refer to this wesite for additional information regarding the CanMEDS roles.
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