Breast pathology (BP) is considered to be subject to interobserver variability among pathologists, emphasizing the need for adequate training. However, specifics of BP residency training have not been elucidated.


To assess the characteristics of BP residency training in the United States.


A Qualtrics-managed online survey was emailed to program directors of all US pathology residency programs, requesting them to forward the survey link to their pathology residents.


One hundred seventeen residents' survey responses were evaluable. Most responses (92; 79%) came from residents in university hospital–based programs. Thirty-five respondents (30%) had a dedicated BP rotation in their program. Most respondents believed that BP was an important part of training (96 of 100; 96%) and pathology practice (95 of 100; 95%). Seventy-one respondents believed that their BP training was adequate overall (71 of 100; 71%). Forty-one percent of respondents indicated that they would not like BP to be a significant part of their future practice. The main reasons given were that they had a different preferred area of interest, that they lacked interest in BP, or that breast cases were time-consuming to sign out.


Our results show that in the United States, most programs do not offer a dedicated BP rotation, but breast cases are signed out by subspecialized or experienced breast pathologists. In addition, most respondents believed that they received adequate training and would be competent to independently sign out BP in the future. Additional studies addressing new-in-practice pathologists' proficiency in BP will further help elucidate the quality of BP training in the United States.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Presented at the Florida Society of Pathology Annual Conference; February 22–24, 2020; Orlando, Florida.

Competing Interests

This work has been supported in part by the Participant Research, Interventions, and Measurement Core at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, a comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute and funded in part by Moffitt's Cancer Center Support Grant (P30-CA076292).