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We typically offer two to three fellowship positions annually. The fellowship is currently filled for 2024-2025 and 2025-2026. Availability for the 2026-2027 academic year will be updated in the spring of 2024.

Program Description

The UNC School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offers one-year Fellowship/Clinical Faculty Instructorships in Surgical Pathology. The training year is intended for board-eligible or board-certified anatomic pathologists who want progressive responsibility and to develop excellent diagnostic skills in surgical pathology in an academic practice environment.

Graduated responsibility is a hallmark of our department’s residency and fellowship programs. This fellowship is a hybrid fellowship-instructorship position with an emphasis on independent sign-out responsibility for the majority of the year. First, fellows have an initial period of supervision in working up the full range of Surgical Pathology cases accessioned in our division. During this time (usually July-August), fellows rotate through each subspecialty service—breast, gynecologic oncology, non-oncologic OB/GYN, GI/liver biopsies, large GI resections, head and neck/thoracic/endocrine, genitourinary, and bone/soft tissue—without independent sign out responsibilities. Then, for the remainder of the academic year (usually September through June) they are credentialed for independent sign-out.

During this time, fellows are initially responsible for reviewing outside cases for patients referred to UNC before treatment or for second opinion (usually September-October). Participation in daily tumor boards is paired with the rotations on the outside consultation/referral service. They then progress to signing out half a normal faculty workload (shared with another fellow or faculty member, usually November-December), and eventually to signing out a full workload for approximately 12 weeks during the spring semester. Faculty members with subspecialty expertise are available for all areas and work closely with the fellows to develop diagnostic and reporting skills.

Depending on interest and availability in the spring, fellows may choose between a general fellowship experience rotating through all subspecialty services, and a more focused fellowship experience, concentrating on one or more subspecialty services.

Frozen section coverage is integrated into each week as a part of every service (approximately 4-5 hours/week of coverage). There are no responsibilities for grossing or autopsies, and there is minimal overnight call (taken from home, 2 weeks total for the year). The fellowship schedule also includes generous off service time (10-12 weeks) that can be used for electives or research.

The Surgical Pathology Division at University of North Carolina will accession approximately 40,000 cases in 2022 (36,000 inside cases, 4,000 outside consult/referral cases). Complex oncology resections are emphasized. These numbers do not include cytology, hematopathology, dermatopathology or nephropathology cases. There are opportunities for elective experiences in any area of pathology.

Individuals completing this fellowship have gone on to a variety of positions, both in private practice and academics. This fellowship provides a wonderful opportunity to develop skills and confidence in independent sign-out required to succeed in any high volume, high complexity practice environment.

Program Requirements

Applicants must possess an MD or DO degree, be board-eligible/board-certified in Anatomic Pathology, and be eligible for medical licensure in North Carolina and appointment to the faculty of UNC Healthcare.


Fellowship stipends are commensurate with postgraduate year of training, with an increase during the Instructorship appointment.


UNC will be participating in the Unified Approach and Common Timeline. For details, please see:

The Standardized Application for Pathology Fellowships from the College of American Pathologists, a cover letter expressing your interest in the fellowship, 3 current letters of recommendation (one of which must be from your Program Director), and ECFMG certification if applicable should be submitted to the program director. Electronic submissions are encouraged. Letters of recommendation should be addressed to the program director, Dr. Johnson, at the address below.

Program Director

Steven M. Johnson, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Director of Surgical Pathology Fellowship Program
CB 7525 UNC Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7525

Phone: 984-974-7768

Faculty Members