Post-Sophomore Fellowship Program

Interested in spending a year functioning like a pathology resident?  Finding out what we really do? This is an exciting opportunity offered though the UW Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology for two (2) UW Medical Students to take a year out of medical school and spend the year like a first year pathology resident at the University of Washington. This is an entry level one-year project appointment for University of Washington students in a Medical Degree Program (MD Program). Eligible candidates will have finished or will be finishing their foundation phase (between their 2nd and 3rd or 3rd and 4th year of medical school) and are interested in pursuing pathology studies, research, and clinical practices.  

Post-Sophomore Fellows function like a first year pathology resident in Seattle, with essentially the same responsibilities and requirements including making diagnoses, using a microscope, writing reports, grossing tissue, signing out cases with pathologists, doing autopsies, spending time doing electives (clinical, research, or teaching) and teaching medical students. Fellows spend the year in Seattle at the various hospitals covered by UW Pathology (UW, Harborview, VA).Post-Sophomore Fellows work closely with our residents, fellows and faculty and have the opportunity to rotate through services in both anatomic and clinical pathology, including but not limited to:

  • Surgical Pathology
  • Hematopathology
  • Autopsy Pathology
  • Coagulation
  • Neuropathology
  • Microbiology
  • Cytopathology
  • Chemistry 
  • Dermatopathology
  • Molecular Genetic Pathology
  • Genitourinary Pathology
  • Virology 
  • Transfusion Medicine
  • Immunology



Eligible applicants are University of Washington Medical Students in current good standing who have completed or will have completed their patient care phase and have taken and passed USMLE Step 1 prior to starting the fellowship. Preferred candidates are interested in pursuing Pathology studies, research, and clinical practices.

Medical students who participate in the program are considered “on leave” with the University of Washington School of Medicine; all loans are deferred during the program, and there is no tuition or financial aid penalty. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the details of this status with their registrar, and the financial aid department.



Applications should be received prior to November 15th for fellowships beginning the following academic year but will be accepted until positions are filled. Your application is complete when we receive the following:

  • Your application is considered complete once this online form is filled out and the following materials uploaded:
    • CV
    • Personal Statement (1-2 pages)
  • Letter of Recommendation (e-mailed directly from the faculty to

Once applications have been received and reviewed, the program will reach out to candidates to schedule interviews, and provide the opportunity to shadow current Post-Sophomore Fellows and residents.


Stipend and Benefits

Post-Sophomore Fellows receive a stipend of $41,048 ($3,420.67 per month) and enjoy 21 days of vacation time off (15 weekdays, 6 weekend days), 1 paid personal holiday and accrue sick leave as part of their appointment. The program also observes 10 holidays per year. Additional position benefits are outlined on the UW Human Resources page here.

Fellows will also receive a $350 stipend for professional development purposes, $1,600 fund for traveling to conferences to present or take part in advocacy work and are provided with free ExpertPath and PathPrimer subscriptions for the duration of the program.

Post-Sophomore Fellows are also encouraged to participate in the Doctor for a Day (DFAD) program. Time commitment is roughly 5 hours a month. More information about the program can be found here.

About 50% of people that opt to do a pathology fellowship end up going into pathology. However, the 50% that don't go into pathology have come out of the program with a fantastic foundation in the mechanism of disease, and an experience that residency programs very highly rate.


Our Current Fellow

Joanna Liao

Bio / Interests:

Hello! I am a UW School of Medicine student (between my MS2 and MS3 years) and am this year's post-sophomore pathology fellow. My interest in pathology was heightened while studying for Step 1, and I wanted to take some time to better understand the pathophysiology of disease. The UW Pathology department has amazing teachers and a fantastic staff; it's been a great experience thus far. In my free time I enjoy having virtual game night with friends (currently playing Among Us, which I'm terrible at), binge watching Netflix, yoga, and spending time with my significant other and cat.


Questions? Contact Us


Lisa Koch, MD, PhD
Director, Post-Sophomore Fellowship

Oliver Chang, MD
Director, Post-Sophomore Fellowship

Brian Shirts, MD, PhD
Director, Post-Sophomore Fellowship
Tessa Olmstead
2019-20 Post-Sophomore Fellow
Daniel Quinlan
2018-19 Post-Sophomore Fellow
Melissa Wong 
2019-20 Post-Sophomore Fellow
Brandi Davis
2016-17 Post-Sophomore Fellow
Pathology Resident, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Miles McDonough
2017-18 Post-Sophomore Fellow
Emergency Medicine Resident, UCSF Fresno
Residency Program
Box 357470
Phone: (206) 685-1624
FAX: (206) 543-3644
University of Washington
Pathology Residency Program
1959 NE Pacific, Box 357470
Seattle, WA 98195-7470