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NHG Pathology Residency Programme

Resident's Talk

“The field of Pathology is highly cerebral, vast and rapidly advancing. We are the gold standard of diagnostic medicine ..."

Dr Nicholas Koh


The NHG Pathology Residency Programme provides training in all aspects of Anatomic Pathology, preparing aspiring pathologists for a career in clinical practice and academic medicine. The curriculum incorporates competency-based developmental milestones, where the junior resident receives close supervision from a senior resident or consultant during his/her initial months of training. Supervisors will provide guidance especially in components of work that require procedural skills and provide regular formative assessment and feedback of the resident's performance for learning and improvement.

Training in Anatomic Pathology Programme spans 5 years.

Year 1 is geared towards laying a strong foundation in the principles and practice of Anatomic Pathology. There are introductory lectures, which educate the new resident on how the pathology laboratory functions and delivers patient care. There will also be individualised, hands-on teaching by a dedicated faculty member during initial specimen grossing. This is to allow the resident to gradually acquire necessary skills for prosection and selection of tissue for microscopy. The resident will learn how to craft pathology reports, which will meet the needs of clinicians and patients. He/she will rotate to General Surgical Pathology with Integrated Subspecialties including cytopathology, breast pathology, gastrointestinal pathology, neuropathology, and soft tissue pathology. The resident will also sit through frozen section consultations and lessons on laboratory management. Towards the end of the first year, he/she will have opportunities to grow his/her resident portfolio as he/she participates in audit activities and present at some of the multidisciplinary tumour boards and meetings.

Year 2 includes external rotations to Autopsy/Forensic pathology (6 months) at HSA, Gynaecology/Paediatric pathology (4 months) at KKH, and Dermatopathology (1 month) at NSC.

Year 3 has rotations similar in structure to Year 1, which includes the option of a General Surgical Pathology rotation at NUH, with short stints in cytopathology and molecular pathology. As the resident is now more experienced, there will be opportunities to handle and report cases of increasing complexity in different subspecialties including renal pathology and hematopathology. The local Boards examination will be conducted at the end of the third year.

Years 4 and 5 are the senior residency years, which will continue to facilitate the resident's growth into a Pathologist and leader in the laboratory. There will be a second rotation to Gynaecology/Paediatric pathology (3 months), with optional additional stints to NSC and NUH. The resident is still working under supervision, but is now expected to trim and report specimens more independently. There will also be additional opportunities for residents who are seeking to develop an educational or research portfolio.

Anatomic Pathology rotations are integrated throughout the 3-year basic curriculum leading to the local Boards examinations. After the resident completes two additional years of advanced training and the Australasian or British exit examination, he/she will receive a certification by the Singapore Accreditation Board as an independent specialist. We carry out regular formative assessments in order to ensure the systematic progression of our residents.


Rotations to other training sites allow the resident to learn how other laboratories function, gain exposure to subspecialties that are not available in the primary institution, interact with other consultants and residents, and establish professional relationships. These add up to a comprehensive and integrated learning experience throughout the five years of Pathology residency training.

A sample rotation chart for one of our residents is illustrated below:

Teaching Activities

Our teaching programme includes introductory lectures as well as systemic tutorials by faculty with subspecialty interests in various organ systems. This is to allow the resident to appreciate the breadth of diseases seen in Anatomic Pathology. However, following teaching sessions, the resident should continue reading on his/her own to gain additional knowledge.

There are also periodic journal clubs and case discussion tutorials to allow opportunities for problem-based learning. As some of our faculty have experience as national and overseas examiners, examination-based slide sets can be conducted in-house for additional learning.

Residents are highly encouraged to attend local and overseas workshops and conferences to further their knowledge.

At the resident's senior residency years, he/she will have opportunities to engage in teaching younger residents and medical officers.

Resident's Scholarly Activities:


Research Opportunities

Currently, we collaborate with our hospital's clinicians and other institutions' researchers for various projects, including molecular studies. There are also opportunities for the resident to participate in scholarly activities such as poster presentations and journal publications.