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Pathologists' Assistant Program

The Pathologists’ Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine is a two-year, full-time professional program that currently accepts 9-11 students per year. The program is designed to train students to become advanced practitioners in anatomic pathology. Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, students will graduate with a Master of Science degree in Anatomic Pathology. 

The curriculum includes a required component and an optional component. The required curriculum provides the education essential for students to become practicing Pathologists’ Assistants upon graduation. The optional component of the curriculum allows students to pursue personal interests that align with individual career goals. Pathologists’ Assistants are advanced practitioners in anatomic pathology with a vast Scope of Practice that will likely continue to expand with the ever-evolving healthcare system. To ensure that students are prepared to adapt to this environment, students may choose to gain additional knowledge or skills that align with individual career goals. While the optional component of the curriculum is available to students, no student is required to enroll in any electives.  

The required curriculum includes 83 credit hours over the course of two years, which includes both didactic and clinical components. The first year of the program consists of didactic courses in basic sciences and surgical pathology, with surgical pathology and autopsy pathology rotations during the summer. The second year of the program consists entirely of clinical rotations at sites throughout the country.

The issuing of the Master's of Science degree in Anatomic Pathology from Tulane University School of Medicine is not contingent upon students passing any type of external certification or licensure examination, including but not limited to the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification Examination for Pathologists’ Assistants.

Year 1:

  • Spring Semester (January – May)
    • Gross Anatomy (4 credits)
    • Human Histology (4 credits)
    • Embryology (4 credits)
    • Physiology (3 credits)
    • Surgical Pathology Techniques (4 credits)
  • Summer (May – August)
    • Autopsy Pathology (3 credits)
    • Autopsy Pathology Practicum (1 credit)
    • Advanced Surgical Pathology Techniques I (4 credits)
    • Advanced Surgical Pathology Techniques I Lab (2 credits)
    • Surgical Pathology Practicum (1 credit)
    • Mechanisms of Disease I – General Pathology (5 credits)
  • Fall (August – December)
    • Mechanisms of Disease II – Systemic Pathology (5 credits)
    • Advanced Surgical Pathology Techniques II (4 credits)
    • Advanced Surgical Pathology Techniques II Lab (2 credits)
    • Pathologists’ Assistant Seminar (1 credit)

Year 2:

  • Clinical rotations at various sites including surgical pathology, autopsy pathology, forensic pathology, clinical pathology, hematopathology, cytopathology, pediatric pathology, and digital pathology.  Students have the option to participate in cancer research, and an optional teaching practicum.

The required curriculum is comprised of the above courses. Students have the option to take additional lecture-based or research-based electives, independent studies, and a teaching practicum.

Program Mission Statement:
The mission of the Pathologists’ Assistant program at Tulane University School of Medicine is to provide an educational foundation in anatomic pathology that enables graduating students to adapt and excel in a continually advancing healthcare system. This program aims to develop allied healthcare professionals that:

  • deliver the highest quality patient care
  • think, learn, act, and lead with integrity and wisdom
  • recognize and respect their responsibilities to patients, patient families, and their communities
  • educate the public about the practice of anatomic pathology and serve as stewards of the profession

Program Goals:
The goals of the Pathologists’ Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine are to:

  • provide the highest quality departmental educational program that results in academically and clinically prepared pathologists’ assistants
  • provide extensive didactic and clinical training in accordance with national standards to ensure that all graduates have the ability to provide excellent patient care, serve as leaders in the healthcare profession, and educate their communities about the pathologists’ assistant profession
  • provide a flexible curriculum to adapt to students’ individual career goals
  • offer highly trained graduates that are prepared for a variety of healthcare settings in anatomic pathology, research, management, and biorepository operations
  • offer highly trained graduates that are prepared for teaching positions at academic institutions
  • develop graduates with an understanding of the importance of professionalism and ethical behavior

A current copy of the Student Handbook can be emailed to potential students upon request. Please direct any questions regarding the program and any requests to PathAssistantProgram@tulane.edu.

Read about the Class of 2021 here.