Laboratory Medicine

Goals and Objectives

This block is dedicated to laboratory medicine, which will be spent in Surgical pathology (1 week), Hematopathology (1 week), Biochemistry (1 week) and Medical Microbiology (1 week). All weeks include interaction with faculty and appropriate reading.

Hematopathology, Medical Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology Rotation

Medical Expert Role


  • During the Hematopathology weeks, the resident will acquire a basic knowledge of:
  • Normal hematopoiesis and cell biology as they pertain to the structure and function of all hematopoietic elements.
    • The structure and functional relationships of all components of the reticuloendothelial system.
    • The components of humoral and cellular immunity, the role of complement and its pathways of activation.
  • Acquire knowledge of hematopathological disorders including:
    • Common anemias, including diagnostic strategies, morphological findings on the peripheral blood and bone marrow level, clinical associations, complications, and basic principles of patient management.
    • Common neoplastic disorders of leukocytes including diagnostic strategies, common classification schemes and the role of cytogenetics, molecular studies, and flow cytometry.
  • Present cases in a clear, concise, integrated, and problem based manner


  • During the Biochemistry week, the resident will acquire a basic knowledge of:
  • Automated and Acute Care Chemistry, Enzymology, Lipids/Lipoproteins, and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring
  • Incorporate sign-out and review responsibilities, quality control review and decision- making, and exposure to laboratory instrumentation and techniques


  • In the first year of their training PGY1 residents in Anatomical Pathology will spend 3-4 days in the EORLA Microbiology Reference Laboratory at The Ottawa Hospital as part of an orientation to other Clinical Pathology labs.  The rotation in Microbiology will be from Tuesday to Friday, and therefore permit the resident to attend Tuesday City Wide Infectious Disease rounds and Friday’s academic half day for Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease residents (except for July & August).  This is a short time in the microbiology lab and so the resident will be given a tour of the lab and receive some didactic sessions to optimize the learning experience.
  • The resident will review the Safety Manual and be provided with a bio-safety orientation.  They will be able to describe basic safety principals and how to work safely in the laboratory.
  • The resident will spend half a day in the Set-up area and will be able to describe the different types of specimens that are received and how they are processed.
  • The resident will spend time on the urine bench and the Vitek/Susceptibility bench. They will understand how urine specimens are worked up and the general principals of identification and susceptibility testing of bacteria.
  • The resident will spend time on the Gram and BacT/Alert bench.  The resident will be able to describe how to perform a Gram’s stain and the utility of this stain in microbiologic diagnosis.
  • The resident will spend time on either the respiratory or wound benches.  They will be able to describe how these specimens are worked up and understand the concept of normal, colonizing, or commensal flora.

Communicator Role

  • Obtain and synthesize relevant history from other members of the health care team, patients, families, communities.
  • Discuss information/cases with other members of the health care team in terms of diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Listen effectively.
  • Acquire effective communication skills, both verbal and written with clinical colleagues in order to interpret clinical pathology/biochemistry/microbiology findings in the clinical context.
  • Formulate comprehensive and clinically meaningful Hematopathology reports, prioritizing the features of importance.

Collaborator Role

  • Consult effectively with other physicians and health care professionals.
  • Contribute effectively to other interdisciplinary team activities.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary rounds as appropriate.
  • Be aware of the strong interface between the laboratory and clinical disciplines.
  • Develop skills in supporting educational and/ or research endeavors of clinical and laboratory colleagues through individual opportunities or group learning experiences.
  • Understand the value of interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary collaboration in patient management decisions. This includes the need for case review including review by external institutions and agencies. The residents must demonstrate a willingness to seek consultation opinions if so requested by clinical colleagues with modification of subsequent diagnostic impressions if appropriate.
  • Develop skills in supporting educational and/or research endeavors of clinical and laboratory colleagues through individual opportunities or group learning experiences.

Manager Role

  • Utilize resources of the laboratory effectively to achieve an accurate diagnosis.
  • Allocate finite health care resources wisely.
  • Utilize information technology to optimize patient care, life-long learning and other activities.
  • Work effectively and efficiently in a health care organization.

Scholar Role

  • Explain the principles of evidence based medicine and its relevance to clinical decision-making.
  • Record personal learning objectives during the rotation and take responsibility for self-managing your own learning objectives documented at the beginning of the rotation.
  • Seek ongoing feedback from teachers and modify learning objectives as necessary.

Professional Role

  • Take positive steps to maintain a healthy and positive attitude in yourself and to promote it in others.
  • Demonstrate appropriate relationships with patients, family members, and setting limits where appropriate.
  • Showing integrity and honesty and a high level of responsibility towards patient care.
  • Demonstrate appropriate relationships with all staff physicians and consultants.
  • Show up on time and attend all appropriate learning sessions and rounds.
  • Complete all necessary evaluations on time.
  • Adhere to hospital rules and accepted standards of dress while working.




Updated April, 2020

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