Director's Welcome

Director's Welcome

Welcome to our residency program!

Blue Ridge MountainsNestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a vibrant academic community whose ambition is to cultivate the brightest up-and-coming pathologists. As the residency program director, I strive to create a program that is challenging but incredibly rewarding. I am a strong advocate for resident wellbeing and continually implement measures to promote work-life balance, as evidenced by my recent updates to the first year curriculum. I am delighted to introduce you to our program, and hope you find our residents and faculty to be an outstanding group.

Our dynamic residency program changes in concert with the field of pathology. Less than one year ago, we opened a brand new surgical pathology suite, equipped with customizable grossing benches, two multi-headed scopes, modern photography equipment, several computer workstations, and a small kitchenette that often is filled with home-baked goods. The most strenuous part of residency occurs in the surgical pathology suite, and it is our hope that this inviting environment will assuage the occasional late nights and afterhours frozen sections.

Incoming residents are provided with a personal desk in an office with two or three other residents. The resident offices are located in the same hallway as the faculty, which results in a very collegial atmosphere. It is routine to hear laughter and witty banter arising from down the hall. Since the entire anatomic pathology department is on the same floor, residents are able to gain an appreciation for “behind the scenes” pathology (i.e. you will know who embedded your tissue and prepared your special stains).

This past year, our residents traveled from all over the country to join our program. From the west coast to a neighboring state, they are all making Charlottesville, Virginia their new home. Relative to its population, Charlottesville offers a wide range of restaurants, live performances, outdoor activities, and nearby attractions (i.e. wineries, Atlantic Ocean, Appalachian Mountains, Washington DC). It is a great place to branch out and explore as well as raise children. Seasonally speaking, the autumn foliage is stunning, winters are quite mild, springs are abundant with flowers, and the summers provide ample rain and sunshine for outdoor gardens - a perfect combination aside from the occasional earthquakes and hurricanes!

Our residency program is truly a gem. Despite its medium-size, our department is a motivating force lead by internationally recognized faculty. At the most recent United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) annual meeting eight of our resident submissions were accepted. This over-representation is just one example of our drive to excel. We are proud of our accomplishments and strive to be a leader in the ever-changing field of pathology. I hope that you consider joining our team!


Best regards,


Kristen Atkins, MD