Diagnostic and Clinical Pathology

The Department of Pathology's five-year Diagnostic and Clinical Pathology Residency Program is designed to fulfill the GP specialty training requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and to prepare you for a rewarding career as a Diagnostic and Clinical Pathologist.

We are an accredited training program of the RCPSC, having received full accreditation in 2019. Our program adheres to the Objectives of Training in the Specialty of General Pathology set out by the RCPSC. As of July 2019, our program has adopted the Royal College’s Competence by Design (CBD) approach to residency education.

Program highlights

Choose a career in Diagnostic and Clinical Pathology and all the flexibility and opportunity to explore varied interests within Laboratory Medicine that affords. Do not limit yourself to just one area of the fascinating world of Laboratory Medicine!

Our well structured teaching with honed clinical pathology courses, abundant cases and wide spectrum of expertise affords a rich learning environment. Institutional centralization allows for a wide breadth of cases with great diversity. Experiences in the world-leading IWK Health Centre and the state-of the-art Medical Examiner’s Office add to the calibre of the resident’s training. The atmosphere is collegial with an emphasis on resident success.

In recent years, the addition of both Clinical Pathology courses in Medical Microbiology and Medical Biochemistry have further strengthened the program’s organization allowing more functional and targeted teaching and contributed to our resident’s ongoing success.

What you'll learn

This residency program is for 5 years. The program length of training exceeds the standards set by the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada.


The first year for Diagnostic and Clinical Pathology is a basic clinical year. It consists mainly of a mixed clinical experience. The purpose is to provide a background similar to that provided by the rotating internship in the past.

The year consists of thirteen 4-week rotations (blocks) that may be in any of the hospitals listed under Dalhousie University.

Subject Length
Infectious disease 1 block
Hematology 1 block
General surgery 1 block
Endocrinology/metabolism 1 block
Pediatric oncology 1 block
Gynecological oncology 1 block
Adult oncology
either medical oncology or radiation oncology
1 block
Pathology and laboratory medicine 3 blocks
Forensic pathology 1 block
Hematopathology 1 block
Community laboratory 1 block

PGY 2-5

These years consist of:

Subject Length
Adult surgical and autopsy pathology (combined) 17 blocks
Cytopathology 4 blocks
Pediatric surgical pathology 1 block
Forensic pathology 2 blocks
Hematopathology 5 blocks
Medical biochemistry 5 blocks
Medical microbiology 6 blocks
Community laboratory rotations
5 blocks
Molecular pathology 2 blocks
GP Pre-RC exam 1 block

Rotation sequences generally ensure ongoing contact with many of the different specialties throughout the four years. This program combines the advantages of training at a tertiary care centre whilst emphasis is placed on the role of the diagnostic and clinical pathologist.

The community laboratory rotation ensures that residents have an opportunity to put into practice, during their final year, those skills which they have learned. A laboratory management course given during the academic half-day provides the didactic information needed. Various areas of laboratory management are emphasized during clinical laboratory rotations.


The Program requires the resident to put together a small project or a case presentation at the Department's Research Day or a CAP conference before completion of their training. The Program would encourage residents to carry their work through to publication. Research projects may be undertaken in either basic science or clinical science.


How to apply

Residents are selected through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Further residency application information can be found on the Postgraduate Medical Education's Admissions page.

Contact information

Diagnostic and Clinical Pathology Residency Program Director
Dr. Cheng Wang
Residency Program Coordinator pathres@dal.ca