The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

The Department of Pathology

Letter from the Chief Resident, 2020

Dear Prospective Applicant,

Welcome to the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Pathology Residency Training Program! I am delighted for your interest in our program and hope that you will reach out to our department with any questions you may develop while browsing our site.

I would like to begin this welcome letter by articulating the reasons I chose this program as my top choice without reservation. First, the location is unsurpassed in both beauty and accessibility. From hiking through the peaks of the Smoky Mountains on the Appalachian Trail to kayaking the waterways of the Tennessee River Valley below there is no shortage of exciting activities for the outdoor enthusiast. Additionally, the city of Knoxville prides itself on a very regionally competitive low cost of living in addition to an unmatched green preservation initiative that features an expansive variety of parks and greenways throughout the course of the city’s sprawling landscape. Second, the Department of Pathology boasts a storied heritage within the community with a patient-service oriented mission and an exceptional leadership model embodied by our Department Chair, Dr. Lisa Duncan, in addition to our Program Director, Dr. Alan Grindstaff. These individuals work tirelessly to promote a spirit of service leadership that permeates the department and colors all of our interactions with each other, with patients, and faculty, staff and residents from other departments. The pathology faculty members are extremely approachable and enthusiastic about resident education. Our faculty to resident ratio is essentially 1:1, which fosters close supervision and a collegiate atmosphere. Residents have no trouble acquiring a fellowship position in their specialty area of interest.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center itself has developed and maintains six nationally accredited academic centers of excellence and is the regions premier level I trauma center. This translates to an extensive volume of cases that exceeds 30,000 surgical pathology specimen accessions and 50,000 cytology accessions per year. Our case complexity ranges from simple “bread and butter” type cases to exceedingly rare entities that have only been reported a limited number of times. Furthermore, our nationally recognized cancer center hosts a variety of weekly tumor board conferences that give residents the opportunity to become well versed in academic pathology case presentations in areas of breast, gynecologic, genitourinary, soft tissue, head and neck, colorectal, pancreatic, pulmonary, and neuropathology.

The department seeks to train residents to become well equipped for careers in both academic subspecialty sign-out roles and private-practice community healthcare based roles. Offering residents early graduated autonomy and encouraging them to take personal ownership of the cases in which they are involved accomplish this mission. We have a general sign-out service style, which allows residents to develop efficiency in the examination of a variety of case types on a daily basis.

I wish you all the best in the coming application season and in your pathology training career. Please do not hesitate to contact me or our residency program coordinators, Pamela Guider and Ashley Capps, with any questions regarding our program.



Gabriel L. Collins, DO
Third Year
A.T. Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine



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