The Master of Science in Pathologists' Assistant (PathA) program, combines intense academic studies with one year of practical work in the field. Students earn a Master of Science that prepares them to work, under the direction of a pathologist, as a highly qualified allied health professional in anatomic pathology laboratories throughout the country.
About the Curriculum
Classes in the Pathologists' Assistant program curriculum include anatomy, pathology, microbiology and leadership skills. There are a total of 91.0 semester credits for the program.
Visit the Drexel University program catalog page for more information
Program Level Outcomes
Graduates of the Master of Science in Pathologists' Assistant program will achieve seven program level outcomes that describe the skills, competencies and knowledge gained through completion of the program curriculum.
- Demonstrate the ability to prepare, describe and dissect human tissue surgical specimens including appropriate specimen accessioning, describing gross anatomic features, preparing tissues for histologic processing and photographing all pertinent gross findings
- Demonstrate the ability to perform duties relating to the administrative maintenance of surgical pathology protocols, reports and data and assuring the completion of specimen coding and billing
- Demonstrate laboratory maintenance skills including assuring proper maintenance of equipment, provision of adequate supplies, and cleanliness of the surgical pathology suite
- Demonstrate knowledge of the procedures associated with the preparation of human postmortem examinations including ascertaining proper legal authorization for autopsy, retrieving the patient's medical chart and other pertinent data for review with the attending pathologist(s); and coordinating any requests for special specimen sampling
- Demonstrate the ability to perform postmortem examinations which may include: external examination; in situ organ inspection; evisceration; dissection and dictation or recording of data, as well as selecting, preparing and submitting appropriate gross tissue sections for analysis
- Demonstrate the ability to maintain anatomic pathology protocols; photographic and microscopic slides; and complete coding of samples
- Demonstrate the ability to perform basic administrative, budgetary, supervisory and teaching duties
"The combined didactic and clinical work in this program will give you the skills and confidence for success as a PA. It will also give you a really large network of people to reach out to for the continued growth of your PA career."
"In my opinion, the practical year offered by Drexel and the affiliates is unmatched by other programs. The ability to learn from so many different people, who each have different styles and skills, is a gift."
What Is a Pathologists' Assistant?
A pathologists' assistant is an intensely trained allied health professional who provides anatomic pathology services under the direction and supervision of a pathologist. Pathologists' assistants interact with pathologists in the same manner that physicians' assistants carry out their duties under the direction of physicians in surgical and medical practice.
A pathologists' assistant is someone who has the ability to relate to people, the capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, and who demonstrates a commitment to quality patient care.
Is the Pathologists' Assistant Program Right for Me?
Pathologists' assistant program courses are ideal for:
- Recent college graduates with a degree in a biological or allied health science, with exposure to anatomy, physiology and microbiology
- Those with previous exposure to pathology
- Cytotechnologists, histotechnologists and medical technologists
- Allied health professionals
- Graduates with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) at or above the 50th percentile
Pathologists' assistants are employed in community hospitals, academic centers such as medical schools and university hospitals, private pathology laboratories, medical research centers, government hospitals and medical examiner offices.