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Quillen College of Medicine

Application Information

Procedure for application through the NRMP Match for July 1 start date:

The Pathology Residency at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) selects its residents from eligible applicants on the basis of their demonstrated preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity. Our residency does not discriminate in the selection of its residents on the basis of gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, color, national origin, disability, or any other applicable legally protected status. Residents are annually selected via the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), and applications must be received through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) by the deadline indicated below in order to ensure consideration. Applicants must have one of the following qualifications for appointment as a pathology resident at ETSU:

1. Graduate of a medical school in the U.S. or Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

2. Graduate of a college of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.

3. Graduate of a medical school outside the United States or Canada must have a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment.

In order to be selected for an interview, it is expected that applicants will have either already secured one of the above qualifications or that there is a reasonable expectation that they will have secured such qualification by the start of their pathology residency training. In general, it is expected that International Medical Graduates (IMGs) will already have obtained an ECFMG certificate at the time of their submitting an application. IMGs who are senior students expected to graduate before the matriculation date are exempted from having an ECFMG certificate, but are expected to have successfully completed all the required examinations. 

The following factors are weighed heavily in making decisions with regard to interviews and ranking:

1. Examinations: 

    • We are most interested in candidates who have demonstrated ability to pass examinations on first attempt and scored at or above the mean on both USMLE step 1 and step 2. Candidates with lower scores may still be considered depending on the strength of the overall application. For osteopathic students/graduates we will consider COMLEX scores at or above the mean.
    • Official USMLE step 1 or COMLEX level 1 scores must be available before the applicant can be considered for an interview.
    • We strongly, prefer that USMLE Step 2 (or equivalent) scores be available at the time of application. Passing both parts of USMLE Step 2 (or equivalent) examination is required before the candidate can be placed on the rank order list (ROL). 

2. Time Since Graduation: We strongly prefer that no more than five years should have passed since graduation from medical school. If it has been longer than five years since medical school graduation, some allowance may be given for participation in activities during the interim that have been directly related to experience with the clinical practice of pathology.

3. Any interruption in education and/or training should be explained in the application.

4. Evidence of Exposure to Pathology: It is our expectation that the candidate has had a documented exposure to the practice of pathology during or after graduation from medical school. Familiarity with U.S. pathology practice, as well as interest in and motivation for the practice of pathology are important.

5. Letters of Recommendation: At least three letters of recommendation must be provided, with at least one of these provided by a U.S. pathologist. It is preferred that all of the letters be from U.S. physicians and that at least two of these be from U.S. pathologists who have an academic appointment. The letters should not be from acquaintances or colleagues and should primarily address the applicants suitability for training in the practice of pathology.

Candidates who have previously completed all or part of an ACGME- accredited residency in any specialty, and those who are currently in such an ACGME-accredited program are expected to have a letter of recommendation from the program director or an appropriate surrogate.

6. Citizenship and Visa: Applicants should be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, hold an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or be eligible for a J-1 visa. Other physicians who have been awarded the right to reside and work in the United States through alternate means such as the granting of asylum will also be considered. 

7. Additional Requirements: 

    • Please submit a personal statement. The personal statement should tell us how you discovered pathology, and what is your pre-residency experience with pathology, and why you think pathology is a good career for you. It is also a good place to address weaknesses and highlight strength in your application.
    • Evidence of good oral and written communication in English, including an excellent command of English medical terminology, is required.
    • Applicants should be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the U.S. healthcare system.
    • The applications of graduates of international medical schools that have been disapproved by the California Medical Board will not be considered (see

8 Special circumstances or qualifications not listed above may also be considered while evaluating applicants. Some requirements may be waived if the candidate has other exceptional qualifications that would merit such consideration.

9. Deadlines: Complete applications must be received by January 1 for appointments beginning July 1, however, we strongly encourage earlier submission of applications since we have limited interview slots that are often completely filled well in advance of the deadline.

10. Interview Invitations: We begin review of applications as soon as MSPE’s are released, and we start issuing interview invitations around mid-October. We issue invitations throughout the season until all interview spots and a few wait-list spots have been filled (typically, late December-early January). Invitations are usually sent through ERAS. If you do not hear from us, it means that your application is still under consideration. We receive many more applications that meet our selection criteria than we can possibly interview. Once we complete our evaluation process we notify those who were not selected for interview or placed on the wait list.

Applicants selected for interview are invited  for a full day in-person interview and are expected to travel to Johnson City, Tennessee.

Ranking of the applicants to our residency program is performed by our Residency Steering Committee (RSC).

For additional information, contact us at

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