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 November 20, 2020- This is a repost from April and May 2020 and is still in effect as we continue to monitor COVID-19.


The American Board of Pathology and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Training Policy

The American Board of Pathology (ABPath) closely monitors the status of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and will provide updates here on the ABPath website, As the situation changes, we will look to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and federal and state officials for guidance.

Our primary concern is for the health and well-being of our candidates, diplomates, staff, and the public. We will keep you informed of any updates.

Pathologists, like all health care professionals, face an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. Some residents may be concerned that mandated quarantines or contracting coronavirus could impact their eligibility for certification. To address these concerns, we have developed the following policy for residents (including fellows):

COVID-19 Training Policy

Updated April 7, 2020

COVID-19 Training Policy of the American Board of Pathology

This supersedes the previous announcements made on our website for the training policy related to COVID-19.

The American Board of Pathology will allow the following reasons for absence from on-site training to count as clinical training if the resident/fellow arranges with their program director to continue learning and training activities. Residents/fellows should keep a daily log of time spent and a brief description of the activities. The Program Director must attest that the overall competency of the resident/fellow at the completion of training was not adversely affected by the absence.

• COVID-19 illness or exposure
• Mandated quarantine
• Shelter in place/shelter at home directives
• Self-imposed isolation because of significant underlying health issues
• Care for a sick or quarantined immediate family member
• Providing childcare due to school/childcare closures
• Volunteering or being assigned to other institutional or clinical duties

The ABPath will consider additional requests for absences on a case-by-case basis from residents who miss training for an extended period of time for other reasons.

Temporary Autopsy Policy

Updated November 20, 2020

Autopsy Temporary Policy

To support your institutions and pathology training programs during this unprecedented time, we have developed the following temporary Autopsy Policy.

The certification requirement for autopsies is 30 cases. ABPath will temporarily allow the gross prosection of a shared autopsy to be performed by only one resident. The temporary exceptions to the usual requirements for a complete autopsy are highlighted in yellow below. This is intended to save on PPE and limit biohazard exposure.

Requirements for shared autopsies (from the Booklet of Information):

Both residents must participate in all other aspects of the autopsy to claim credit for that case.
1) review of the clinical history and circumstances of death
2) external examination of the body
3) gross dissection, including organ evisceration
4) review of the microscopic and laboratory findings
5) preparation of a written description of gross and microscopic findings
6) development of an opinion as to the cause of death
7) clinical-pathologic correlation
8) review of the autopsy report with a faculty member.

We will accept some “creativity” in autopsy training. You may consider using photos or videos to teach gross findings.

Digital learning is useful, but as of now, digital cases would not count towards certification requirements. ME cases without any histology are not considered complete autopsies but could be considered limited cases.

We appreciate your feedback and if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at




© 2015 The American Board of Pathology. All rights reserved.