Neuropathology Rotation

Educational Objectives (PGY 3-5)


  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of applied neuroanatomy in the context of neuropathology (gross and microscopic)
  • Understand the general pathophysiological processes of the major neurological diseases: including neoplasia, cerebrovascular disease, traumatic nervous injury and infections.
  • Develop familiarity with the gross anatomical pathology of neurological disease and in particular those with surgical implications (neoplasia, vascular disease and trauma)
  • Develop familiarity with the microscopic pathology of neurologic conditions specifically related to neurosurgical practice.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of diagnostic criteria and interpretation of smear cytology.
  • Discuss the major cellular, genetic and molecular biologic processes important for the understanding of neurosurgical diseases. (e.g. apoptosis, chromosomal anomalies in neoplasia, tumor markers, pathophysiology of ischemic disease, etc.)


  • Effectively communicate results of neuropathological assessment with referring physician verbally (in the context of intra-operative consultation/frozen sections) and in the written form.
  • Share and present information with other health care providers in the context of multidisciplinary rounds
  • Understand effective and efficient reporting of pathological findings


  • Work/collaborate effectively as a member of the interdisciplinary care team, fostering a positive team environment
  • Understand the important role of consultation with other subspecialists in neuropathology for difficult cases with specialist in other areas of pathology when addressing cases that relate to their area of expertise
  • Listen and respond appropriately to concerns of other health care providers


  • Manage own time, education and personal life to ensure balanced lifestyle


  • Understand the decision-making process behind determining the appropriateness various tests and stains for neurological disease in a resource constrained health care environment
  • Effectively utilize and allocate finite healthcare resources
  • Review and be able to advocate/suggest particular treatment, especially in rare neuropathological cases


  • Actively participate in weekly rounds/educational activities including presenting neuropathology at the neurosurgical correlative rounds
  • Identify and seek out personal learning needs related to cases encountered on the neuropathology service
  • Apply principles of critical appraisal to medical information as it pertains to neuropathology literature
  • Facilitate peer and student learning, including the use of multi head microscope to promote this.
  • Contribute to development of new knowledge, be involved in research projects related to neuropathology and neurosurgery.


  • Foster collegial relationships with staff and residents, and other allied health professionals
  • Exhibit appropriate professional behaviors in practice, including honesty, integrity, commitment, compassion, timeliness, respect and altruism
  • Show appropriate respect for opinions of other health care providers
  • Be able to appraise and identify own limits with respect to knowledge and patient care, and when to ask for assistance and consult effectively.

Expectations of the rotation:

  • Contribute to the presentation of the pathology portion of cases presented at VGH Neurosurgery correlative rounds