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How to Apply

General Application Requirements 

To be eligible to apply an applicant must be a graduate of a:

  • Medical school in the United States (US) or Canada that is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), OR
  • College of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), OR
  • Medical school outside the US or Canada AND hold a current and valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), OR
  • Medical school outside the US or Canada AND have a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a US licensing jurisdiction.
  • Medical school outside the US who have completed a Fifth Pathway Program provided by an LCME accredited Medical school.

The department participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).   The following documents must be provided via ERAS:

  • ERAS Common Application Form (CAF)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • One-page personal statement
  • Medical school transcript
  • Dean’s letter (for 4th year medical students)
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one of which should be from a pathologist)
  • USMLE scores
  • DO applicants:  Please submit USLME Step 1 and Step 2 scores 
  • ECFMG certification (international medical graduates)

Please see the ERAS website for additional information on how to apply.

Note:  For entry level (or PGY-1) positions, we accept applications only through ERAS.   Please do not send paper or electronic applications or curriculum vitae to us via other means.  Invitations to interview are extended using the ERAS system.  


Specific Requirements: 

 All 4th year medical students must apply through ERAS and participate in the NRMP.

  1. Applicants currently in residency programs (other than Pathology) in the US or Canada and seeking entry-level positions in Pathology must participate in the NRMP in accordance with the “all-in” policy.
  2. Applicants in ACGME-accredited Pathology residency program seeking to transfer into our program as second-, third-, or fourth-year Pathology residents must first contact our Program Director to inquire about the availability of such positions.  If a position is available, then the applicant must supply:
    1. Information from the initial ERAS application or the equivalent;
    2. A letter from their Program Director listing all rotations completed by the time of transfer, a summary performance evaluation, and a letter of recommendation;
    3. At least one additional letter of recommendation from supervising faculty who have worked with the applicant in the most recent year of training. 
  3. International medical graduates (IMG’s) must:
    1. Have passed the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 examinations and hold a current and valid ECFMG certificate;
    2. Submit an application via the ERAS system.   


Frequently Asked Questions 

Do you have a cut off for USMLE scores? 

No.  Although higher scores make an applicant more competitive, we do not have cutoffs for USMLE scores.  We evaluate each application on an individual basis.

Because these scores predict likelihood of passing the specialty board examination, we view any failure of any part of the USMLE examination with concern.  In the absence of demonstration of significant improvement in score on the second attempt, it is highly unlikely that such an applicant will be invited to interview.

Do you have a cut off from time since graduation? 

It is highly unlikely that an applicant who has been out of medical school for more than seven years will be invited to interview, unless the applicant has been actively engaged in the clinical practice of medicine or biomedical research.

Is experience in Pathology necessary? 

Most successful medical school applicants have taken at least one elective in pathology and have obtained letter of recommendation from at least one pathologist supervising their work.  Post-graduate applicants from other medical specialties must be able to justify a career change by having some exposure to what working as a pathologist entails.  Applicants working in biomedical research should be able to discuss how their research experience informs their choice of a career in pathology.  Applicants without some form of experience in pathology are at a competitive disadvantage.

The basis for choosing pathology as a career should be addressed in the Personal Statement of the application.

Does your program accept international medical graduates (IMG’s)? 

Yes.  We accept applications from IMG’s with the qualifications outlined above and evaluate them in the same pool with those from US medical graduates. IMG’s from several countries have completed our program successfully.  Information on visas may be obtained from the ECFMG.

Do you require medical student applicants to do an elective at your institution? 

No.  Although it helps put applicants at a competitive advantage if we have had the opportunity to know them before they apply, we recognize that many applicants do not have the financial resources to come here for an elective.  Most of our current residents, who came from schools other than Wake Forest, did not do an elective here prior to applying. 

Do you offer observerships in Pathology for post-graduate physicians? 

No.  Maintaining an optimal training environment for our residents, fellows, and medical students must take precedence.  Unfortunately, we do not have space or funding to accommodate additional observers.  We suggest that those currently working in an academic medical center contact the Pathology Department in their institution. Pathologists in private practice in the area where applicants work or live are other potential resources.


Quick Reference

Pathology Residency Training Program
Program Director:
Nancy S. Rosenthal, MD

Tel: 336-716-4311
Fax: 336-716-7595

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
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