Residency Preparation for Medical Students

ASCP helps you prepare for residency.

As a medical student preparing to become a pathologist, you may be reading about residency programs and exploring your residency options. ASCP is here to help you prepare for residency by giving you the information and resources you need--visit the tabs below to find out more about residency programs, including how to select and apply to a specific program, as well as information about the Resident In-Service Examination and American Board of Pathology (ABP) exams.


Every medical student preparing for a career as a pathologist must complete a residency program prior to taking the Pathology Board Exam and becoming a certified pathologist. Residency programs are a part of postgraduate medical education and provide hands-on, in-depth training, which often include planned learning experiences, supervised participation in clinical activities, teaching and mentoring opportunities, and group workshops and conferences. Regular formative assessments are given to ensure trainees achieve core competencies at each stage of learning.

The purpose of residency programs is to allow students to take the knowledge they've acquired in school and apply it in a real-world setting in order to prepare them for successful careers in pathology.

A variety of universities and institutions offer residency programs in pathology. For a list of residency programs with an ASCP representative, please visit the following tab on this page.
Click here to see a list of pathology residency training programs and ASCP Resident Representatives in the United States and in Canada.
For more information, click here.
In order to become a pathologist, all residents are required to take and pass the Pathology Board Examination, administered by the American Board of Pathology (ABP). Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the exam.

How do I register for the Pathology Board Exam?

Registration for the Pathology Board Exam must be completed online at the American Board of Pathology website. Click here to visit the ABP site.

How much does it cost?

The board exam costs $2200 for the AP/CP combined exam, $1800 each for CP and AP taken as separate exams.

When is the registration deadline?

The deadline for registration is usually early to mid January. See the ABP Exam Dates webpage for the official deadlines.

Are there any prerequisites or requirements prior to taking the exam?

Yes. You must have completed 50 autopsies PRIOR to submitting your application for the board exam! That means you must have all 50 by December of your PGY-4 year, not by the end of your PGY-4 year. You should also update your autopsy case log on, as you will need to submit a list of all of your autopsies when you apply for the board exam.

What is on the exam, and what is the format?

General info about the format and administration of the Board Exam can be found at the ABP Website. Please refer to the ABP website for the official, accurate, and up-to-date information regarding the Board Exam. You can visit the ABP site by clicking here.