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April 2018

Alumni Q&A: Bronwyn Bryant, M.D. Practicing Pathology at U. Vermont


Dr. BryantDr. Bronwyn Bryant is one of the many UR School of Medicine and Dentistry graduates making their mark in the field of pathology.

She graduated UR with her medical degree in 2011 and went on to do her pathology residency at the University of Washington. Later, she completed two fellowships in gynecologic pathology and surgical pathology, respectively, at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Bryant is now assistant professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (specializing in gyn.) and associate program director of the pathology residency program at the University of Vermont, where she began working in August 2017.

Here, she shares more about how she entered the field and what inspires her to this day.

Does your current role allow you to do research, and if so, what are you currently working on?

My academic interests are focused on medical education. I’m currently looking at feedback and evaluation methods for our residents in their surgical pathology rotation by utilizing entrustable professional activities (EPAs).

What first sparked your interest in pathology?

Before starting medical school, I worked as a research assistant for a pathologist (Dr. Kim Boekelheide) at Brown University. I spent a lot of time in front of a microscope at this job. I enjoyed learning bits of morphology, and knew I would enjoy a career with so much microscope work. 

I entered medical school thinking about pathology. I loved histology labs and helping my fellow classmates see the morphology. During my first two years of medical school, I attended the weekly autopsy case review whenever I could.

I tried to keep an open mind going into my clerkships, but after a surgical pathology elective in my third year, I was 100 percent sure I wanted to be a pathologist.

When you look back on your time here at URSMD, is there a particular person or experience that made a particular impact on you?

I remember Dr. Linda Schiffhauer presenting at the beginning of our second year Disease Processes and Therapeutics course. She was exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up to be a doctor. I quickly sought her out as a mentor to help shape my career towards academic practice and education. 

I always knew I wanted to teach, and my experience in the Medical Education Pathway at UR gave me my first taste of education theory and training, which I’ve been developing and building on ever since.

How do you like to spend your free time outside of work?

Gardening, hiking and cross-country skiing, knitting, and cooking.

Tell us about your family.  

I adopted a mutt named Nutmeg (named after nutmeg liver) during my last year in residency, and she is pure mischief and snuggles. When we moved to Michigan, she found my wonderful boyfriend, John, who is now finishing his Pathology residency at the University of Michigan.  

What advice would you give up-and-coming pathology trainees looking to start their careers?

Keep an eye out for doors that open for you, as you’ll never know what opportunities may come your way, where they may lead, and what you may learn from them.

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