Pathology Resident Wiki


  • Registration must be completed online at the American Board of Pathology.
  • Fees:
    • $2200 for AP/CP combined exam, $1800 each for CP and AP taken as separate exams.
    • Effective for 2010 examinations, all candidates for combined primary and subspecialty examinations (e.g., AP and NP) will complete separate application and registration forms and pay $1800 for each examination.
  • Deadline for registration is usually early to mid January. See the ABP Exam Dates webpage for the official deadlines.
  • Remember that you must have completed your 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. Also, it is HIGHLY advised that you keep your autopsy case log up to date on, as you will need to submit a list of all of your autopsies when you apply for the board exam. Each autopsy case should have the following info: sex, age, major pathological diagnoses, limitations (full, brain only, heart and lungs only, etc). Avoid abbreviations and do not list case numbers or any patient identifiers. By keeping your autopsy log organized and up to date from the start, you will save a TON of last minute work when you are rushing to get your board application ready!
  • In order to sit for the exams, you need to be have or have applied for a FULL unrestricted medical license. If you have a pending medical license at the time you apply to sit for the Board exam, be sure that you send the ABP a copy of your state medical license once you receive it. The Board will not release your test results to you until you submit a copy of your state medical license to them (ie- all of your friends will be celebrating passing their Board exam and posting about it on Facebook and you will have to urgently fax in your license to ABP and then spend the next day or two worrying and getting questions about whether you passed yet or not...not fun).


General info about the format and administration of the Board Exam can be found at the ABP Website. A summary of the important details is listed here. Please ALWAYS refer to the ABP website for the official, accurate, and up-to-date information regarding the Board Exam. Excerpts below are taken from the ABP General Description of Exams pdf.

Anatomic Pathology:[]

Section - Questions (Time)
Written: 125 questions (2.25 hours)
Practical: Images - 120 questions (1.75 hours)
Practical: Microscopic/Virtual - 55/25 questions (3.75 hours)

Material Tested:

  • 70% - "pathology of specific organ systems or multi-system disease"
  • 30% - "general pathology and laboratory management"
  • Heme path and molecular path account for about 10-15% of the AP exam
  • Note: EM images for Medical-Renal only; some solid tumor questions may reference EM findings but will not be straight ID from an EM image (per B. Bennett at USCAP 2012)

Clinical Pathology:[]

Section - Questions (Time)
Written - 130 questions (2 hours)
Practical - 110 questions (3.25 hours)
Practical with Images - 120 questions (2 hours)

Material Tested:

  • "Questions related to laboratory management and medical microscopy make up 10-15% of the total examination."
  • "The remainder of the examination is roughly equally divided between blood banking/transfusion medicine, chemical pathology, hematology, and medical microbiology."
  • "Questions on molecular pathology are included in all content areas of the examination and account for 10-15% of the examination."


Travel and Hotel Info[]

  • The ABP Pathology Board Exam is only offered in Tampa, Florida. You should fly in to the Tampa International Airport (TPA). Check well in advance to be sure that flights are available at the times you need to travel. Last flight of the day to certain cities is fairly early (e.g. - last flight to Houston is around 6:30pm).
  • InterContinental Hotel - located just 10 minutes from the airport. You can book a room at the hotel via a link on the ABP website ; you will receive a small discount since you are taking the board exam (rooms are about $150 per night with the discount, as of October 2012). Crosscheck the price on other discount sites like Expedia.
  • Other hotel options [1]:
    • Best Western
    • Courtyard by Marriott
    • Days Inn
    • Doubletree
    • Embassy Suites
    • FORUM hotel
    • Howard Johnson
    • La Quinta
    • Microtel
    • Quorum
    • Springhill Suites
    • Super 8 Motel
    • Tahitian Inn
    • Westshore Hotel
    • Wyndham

Food Options for Pathology Board Exam[]

  • A Panera Bread is available for lunch, although there have been some complaints about how busy it is. Contrary to popular belief, many other food options are also available very close to the test center!
  • The little food shop inside the hotel (in the opposite tower from the one the ABP is in) on the first floor makes a really good Cuban sandwich and has other food as well.
  • There is a mall with a food court across the street from the test center.
  • If you stay at the Intercontinental, you can pre-order hotel room service to your room at a specified time.
  • The ABP website gives some food and travel info here:

Miscellaneous Info[]

  • There is a CVS right across from the hotel, in case you need to buy something.