While the name of the degree varies by school, the fundamental curriculum is the same. The pathologists' assistant degree program is a graduate program. The first year consists of classroom instruction supplemented by laboratory work. The second year is devoted to clinical rotations in hospitals and other medical settings, providing students with progressively responsible and wide-ranging experience. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Registry (www.ascp.org). Some of the pathology programs available include a Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Pathologists' Assistant (PathA).
To get into the program it requires satisfactory GRE scores, previous coursework in biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
Pathologist Assistant Master's Degree
The pathologists' assistant degree program includes a broad background in the medical sciences as well as intensive courses in anatomic pathology. Course subjects include:
- Autopsy pathology
- Medical ethics
- Medical terminology
- Surgical pathology
While the majority of pathologists' assistants work in hospitals, many find work in the following settings:
- Government agencies
- Medical examiners offices
- Medical teaching facilities
- Private and reference laboratories
Pathologist's assistants can become full-fledged pathologists by earning a medical degree (M.D.) and completing three or four years of accredited residency training.
Students who would like to be a pathologist assistant will need to go to graduate school and obtain a master's degree. Different environments that a pathologist assistant can be found in include government agencies, medical examiners officers and private and reference laboratories.