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Pathologists' Assistant (PathA) About the Program

The Pathologists' Assistant (PathA) program at Drexel University College of Medicine offers traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to train in the highly specialized field of anatomic pathology and earn a Master of Science degree. The two-year, full-time program begins in May of each year. The first year is the didactic portion of the program, supplemented by laboratory exposure. The second year is the clinical education portion of the program, composed of several hospital-based rotations offering progressively responsible experience in autopsy pathology, forensic pathology pediatric pathology and surgical pathology. These rotations are supplemented with informal classroom education conducted monthly at the University.

Students in the Pathologists' Assistant program performing an autopsy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Academic and Personal Counseling

The Center for Academic Success (CAS) supports Pathologists' Assistant program students' needs from matriculation to graduation. The following services are offered:

  • Confidential academic and personal counseling by a doctorate-level psychologist
  • Educational diagnostic testing
  • Several support groups
  • Help with managing stress and resolving personal problems
  • Assistance identifying learning styles and/or analyzing study skills and test-taking techniques
  • Free individual and group tutoring

Successful Completion of the Pathologists' Assistant Program

To graduate from the Pathologists' Assistant program, candidates must successfully complete a minimum of 91 semester credit hours with at least a 3.0 overall GPA. Students earn a Master of Science.

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

Program Accreditation

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS): NAACLS, in conjunction with the AAPA, has established national standards for pathologists' assistant training programs. The standards include both didactic course work and clinical experiences necessary to properly educate a pathologists' assistant. The Master of Science Pathologists' Assistant program at Drexel University is accredited by NAACLS. Visit the NAACLS website to read more about the professional activities of this organization.

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N. River Road
Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
Phone: 773.714.8880

Drexel Pathologists' Assistant Program Students