University of Calgary - General Pathology - Calgary


Program Director

Dr. Davinder Sidhu


General Patholgy Residency Program Director

Dr. Amy Thommasen

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  • Strong connection with community and rural labs: community laboratory longitudinal management program and passionate preceptors offering elective opportunities

  • Emphasis on pathology informatics: our General Pathology Division has several members with active interests in pathology informatics. With a catchment population of close to 1.4 million people on a common laboratory information system and 25 million reported tests per year, our training environment offers tremendous opportunities for research

  • Time spent with physician specialists and laboratorians in each area of clinical pathology (Microbiology, Chemistry, Apheresis, Hematopathology)

  • Graduated teaching (introductory rotations) and on-call responsibilities in all areas of surgical and clinical pathology. Protected longitudinal academics in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology throughout training

  • Our graduates are well-placed for their careers: either entering a staff pathologist role directly out of residency or pursuing a subspecialty fellowship in any area of Laboratory Medicine (Anatomical or Clinical Pathology)

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  • State of the art laboratory facilities (grossing room, morgue, chemistry department etc.), office space (with windows!), equipment and study materials (dedicated up to date resident library)

  • Dedicated and passionate teaching, support and administrative staff who go out of their way to help residents succeed and tailor the program to meet the individual learner’s needs

  • Collegial environment fostered amongst residents to help each other learn and succeed in a non-judgemental environment [through horizontal knowledge transfer] as well as extracurricular bonding activities

  • Good balance of rotations at academic sites and community sites where you can interact with preceptors that were both locally trained (homegrown GP graduates) and those that provide a useful outsider’s view

  • Many opportunities for decompression and work-life balance with the Rockies at our doorstep, as well as a burgeoning culinary and night-life community in Calgary


Pathology seems to be moving more and more into a subspecialty model – why would I do a residency in General Pathology?

While it is true that many academic centers are becoming increasingly populated with pathologists with fellowship training (e.g., gynecological pathology, dermatopathology etc.), there’s still a crucial role for generalists who can bridge the different lab departments at academic centers as well as for those who can oversee and manage all aspects of community and rural labs. The opportunity to go straight into the workforce after residency, or to have all fellowship opportunities in laboratory medicine (AP and CP) open to our learners is a benefit of the breadth of our training.

What opportunities does the program offer to prepare its residents for the Royal College Exam?

People learn and prepare for the Royal College Exam differently and our program realizes this. We offer access to online exams (the RISE PLUS), exam question banks, in-person and online review courses (Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP-ACP) and Osler), as well as a dedicated Royal College Exam-focused weekly review session for our senior residents guided by specialty faculty. This is in addition to the many weekly preceptor and resident-driven rounds and academic sessions throughout residency.

What research opportunities are there to pursue in Calgary?

As an academic center, many of our anatomical and clinical pathology faculty members are actively involved in clinical, translational and even basic science research. There are also many opportunities to gain an appreciation of assay development/method validation through smaller projects, especially in the clinical pathology departments (clinical chemistry, microbiology, hematopathology etc.) and some of our community labs.

What are some of the additional perks of being a resident in Calgary?

In addition to having beautiful facilities and a well-stocked physical and electronic library, we have a dedicated Continuing Medical Education (CME) budget ($2500/resident/year) to be spent on individual textbook purchases, electronics, and coverage for conference fees, travel and accommodation. We also cover the cost of registration for the yearly CAP-ACP Banff Pathology Course, the CAP-ACP Review Course once during residency and Royal College exam travel costs. Finally, the program has dedicated funding for various other activities (team building, career workshops, social events, etc.).