A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Curriculum

The Loma Linda University School of Medicine Pathologists' Assistant Program

The Loma Linda University School of Medicine Pathologists' Assistant program strives to produce the highest quality Pathologists' Assistant in the country.  To this end, our curriculum has been designed to offer a broad education to the prospective student, with the following outcomes:

Outcome 1: Students will be able to demonstrate and perform the appropriate anatomic pathology techniques for the preparation, gross description and dissection of human surgical tissue specimens, to include:

  • Accessioning in laboratory information systems.
  • Recovering from data archives the relevant patient clinical information and history, including scans, x-rays, laboratory data and correlate with pathologic findings
  • Dissection, description, and appropriate submission of gross anatomic features and recognized pathology of surgical specimens.
  • Preparing tissues by appropriate fixation for histological processing prior to examination by light, electron and immunofluorescence microscopic examination
  • Selecting, preparing and submitting appropriate tissue samples for frozen section analysis as appropriate and performing the frozen section procedure to prepare a diagnostic slide for Pathologist review.
  • Obtaining appropriate tissue and body fluid samples for ordering special testing as necessary, based on tissue type and pathology present including but not limited to immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, and microbiology.
  • Awareness of tissue biorepository regulations and protocols, and ability to correctly obtain permissions, collect and store tissue.
  • Photographing and/or digitizing gross tissue specimens and microscopic slides of embedded sectioned and stained tissue slides
  • Ensuring that all appropriate protocols are followed, that data reports are generated in a timely manner and that there is adherence to all safety requirements
  • Knowledge of CPT coding of surgical and autopsy according to AMA and NCCI guidelines.
  • Ensuring that equipment is maintained and that supplies of reagents and disposable are adequate    

Outcome 2: Students will be able to demonstrate and perform the appropriate autopsy pathology techniques for the recovery, preparation, gross description and dissection of human organs and tissue specimens, to include:

  • Verifying that proper legal authorization exists and securing copies of same.
  • Obtaining, reviewing, and providing to the Pathologist the patient’s medical record and other pertinent data.
  • Conferring with the Pathologist to identify any special autopsy material required such as for cultures or smears or whether special examination techniques/studies will be used such as immunofluorescence, toxicology, viral or electron microscopic studies
  • Notifying the physician in charge, the funeral home, and all other appropriate authorities prior to commencing the autopsy; coordinating any requests for special samples of tissues or body fluids
  • Performing the postmortem examination including, external examination, in situ organ inspection, evisceration, dissection, description and dictation of findings including organ weights, gross anatomic findings, presence or absence of body fluids etc.
  • Selecting, preparing and submitting appropriate tissue samples for frozen section analysis as appropriate
  • Selecting, preparing and submitting representative tissue samples for examination by light and electron microscopy
  • Gathering and organizing clinical information and data necessary for a preliminary summary of the clinical history and formulation of a preliminary anatomic diagnosis in consultation with the pathologist.
  • Preparing the body for release (including a listing of the associated biohazards such as contagious disease, radioactive implants etc.) and releasing the body to the appropriate mortuary or funeral home representative
  • Assisting in the organization and coordination of Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conferences, Anatomic Pathology Conferences, Grand Rounds, Tumor Boards and wherever autopsy findings are relevant to patient care

Outcome 3: Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing. By the end of this degree program, the students will:

  • Prepare effective oral presentations supported by appropriate literature research
  • Generate written communications of all types in a professional manner
  • Display interpersonal communication skills providing ability to communicate and manage as a mid-level provider with other health care providers, nursing, technicians and staff to provide optimal patient care.

Outcome 4:  Students will demonstrate the ability to administer a pathology laboratory/autopsy service successfully. By the end of this degree program, the student will:

  • Compile and arrange laboratory goals in a concise and effective manner.
  • Construct and coordinate resources (financial, human, technological, and logistical) for optimal laboratory management.
  • Compose appropriate and correct laboratory procedures
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of implementation plans and redirect resources as appropriate.

Outcome 5: Students will have a basic understanding of teaching pedagogy and an ability to clinically train other health professionals.  By the end of this degree program, the student will:

  • Research and develop a professional-level lecture on an assigned subject
  • Comprehension of educational methodologies and competence to form educational objectives and assessment methods.
  • Recognize different learning styles and correlate appropriate teaching methods.

Curriculum

Fall PGY 1

Credits

Class

PATH 501*

4

Anatomy & Pathology I

RELE 505

3

Clinical Ethics

PATH 521

3

Anatomical Techniques I

IBGS 501

2

Biomedical Communication/Integrity

ANAT 544

2

Embryology Lecture

Total:

14

 

Winter PGY 1

   

PATH 502*

4

Anatomy & Pathology II

AHCJ 538

3

Histology

AHCJ 542

4

Pathology I

AHCJ 515

3

Curriculum Development in Higher Education

PATH 522

3

Anatomical Techniques II

Total:

17

 

Spring PGY 1

   

AHCJ 543

4

Pathology II

PATH 524

3

Clinical Microbiology

PATH 551*

3

Disease Mechanisms I

PATH 581*

2

Basic Pathologic Microanatomy

PHSL 588

4

Pathophysiology

Total:

16

 

Summer PGY 1

   

PATH 552*

3

Disease Mechanisms II

PATH 564

2

Biomedical Photography

PATH 582*

2

Advanced Pathologic Microanatomy

PATH 598*

2

Clinical Laboratory Management

PATH 644*

2

Clinical Pathology Seminar

Total

11

 

Fall PGY 2

   

PATH 761*

9

Path Assistant Practicum I

PATH 741*

2

Pathology Review I

Total:

11

 

Winter PGY2

   

PATH 762*

9

Path Assistant Practicum II

PATH 742*

2

Pathology Review II

Total:

11

 

Spring PGY 2

   

PATH 763*

9

Path Assistant Practicum III

PATH 743*

2

Pathology Review III

Total:

11

 

Summer PGY 2

   

PATH 764*

9

Path Assistant Practicum IV

PATH 744*

2

Pathology Review IV

Total:

11

 

Program Total:

102

 

*Courses specific to major. Course numbers and progression are subject to change but content will be consistent.

Course Descriptions

 

Fall PGY 1

Path 501 Anatomy & Pathology 1

A systems-based approach to the study of human anatomy utilizing cadaver dissection, correlating gross and microscopic anatomy and associated pathologies

RELE 505 Clinical Ethics

Case-based analysis of bioethics, with emphasis on clinical applications. Conceptual and historical readings in bioethics. Additional project required for fourth unit.

PATH 521 Anatomical Techniques 1       

Designed specifically for pathologists' assistant students. Comprehensive coverage of surgical and autopsy pathology techniques. Incorporates histology and medical terminology, including clinical and pathologic correlations.

IBGS 501 Biomedical Communication/Integrity

Improves students' scientific communication skills, as well as increases their awareness of proper ethical conduct in biomedical research. Teaches appropriate techniques for written and oral presentations; as well as ethics and standard practices for record keeping, data analysis, and authorship.

ANAT 544 Embryology Lecture

The plan of development as it pertains to humans. Considers principles.

Winter PGY 1

PATH 502 Anatomy & Pathology II

A systems-based approach to the study of human anatomy utilizing cadaver dissection, correlating gross and microscopic anatomy and associated pathologies

AHCJ 538 Histology

Advanced histology of joint pathology and the associated changes in bone, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Paper required for third unit

AHCJ 542 Pathology 1

Fundamental mechanisms of disease, including: cell injury, inflammation, repair, fluid disorders, neoplasms; developmental, genetic, pediatric, immune, infectious, physical, dietary, blood, vascular, and heart diseases

AHCJ 515 Curriculum Development in Higher Education

Examines principles of curriculum development. Selection, organization, and evaluation of learning experiences. Examines the nature, place, and interrelationship of general and specialized education in higher education

PATH 522 Anatomical Techniques II

Designed specifically for pathologists' assistant students. Comprehensive coverage of surgical and autopsy pathology techniques. Incorporates histology and medical terminology, including clinical and pathologic correlations

Spring PGY 1

AHCJ 543 Pathology II

Fundamental mechanisms of disease, including: respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver and biliary tract, pancreatic, endocrine, kidney, urinary tract, male and female genital tract, breast, musculoskeletal, nervous system, and skin diseases.

Path 524 Clinical Microbiology

Studies of pathologically pertinent microbes, pathogenic mechanisms, overview of methods of identification and antibiotic sensitivities

PATH 551 Disease Mechanism 1

Comprehensive study of mechanisms of disease and clinical correlations, based on Robbins' Pathologic Basis of Disease.

PATH 581 Basic Pathologic Microanatomy              

Designed specifically for pathologists' assistant students. Covers normal microanatomy, including clinical correlations and grossing techniques. Lectures enhanced by multihead microscopy sessions

PHSL 588 Pathophysiology

Provides graduate students with an integrated understanding of normal human physiology and the most common pathological changes that occur throughout the lifespan. Focuses on using pathophysiological concepts to explain clinical observations and management

Summer PGY 1

 

PATH 552 Disease Mechanisms II

Builds on the basic courses in the pathologists' assistant curriculum. Requires students to use critical-thinking skills in the participatory discussion sessions. Prepares students for clinical practicum experiences

PATH 582 Advanced Pathologic Microanatomy

Designed specifically for pathologists' assistant students. Covers disease states in microanatomy, including clinical correlations. Lectures enhanced by multihead microscopy sessions.

PATH 598 Clinical Laboratory Management

Laboratory organization and examination of principles and practices of laboratory management

PATH 644 Clinical Pathology Seminar

This course is designed specifically for the Pathologists' Assistant student to provide an overview of clinical pathology and to relate clinical testing to disease processes.

PATH 564 Biomedical Photography

Investigates the use of digital cameras, scanners, Adobe®, photomicrography, and macrophotography. Examines fundamental processes applied in digital photography to a wide range of specimen types

 

Fall PGY 2

PATH 761 Path Assistant Practicum I

Rotations in surgical and autopsy pathology to include forensics and pediatrics in a variety of clinical settings, such as academic health centers, community hospitals, and private laboratories

PATH 741 Pathology Review I

An intense review of clinical and anatomical pathology theory with assigned presentations and clinical cases

Winter PGY2

PATH 762 Path Assistant Practicum II

Rotations in surgical and autopsy pathology to include forensics and pediatrics in a variety of clinical settings, such as academic health centers, community hospitals, and private laboratories

PATH 742 Pathology Review II

An intense review of clinical and anatomical pathology theory with assigned presentations and clinical cases

Spring PGY 2

PATH 763 Path Assistant Practicum III

Rotations in surgical and autopsy pathology to include forensics and pediatrics in a variety of clinical settings, such as academic health centers, community hospitals, and private laboratories

PATH 743 Pathology Review III

An intense review of clinical and anatomical pathology theory with assigned presentations and clinical cases

Summer PGY2

PATH 764 Path Assistant Practicum IV

Rotations in surgical and autopsy pathology to include forensics and pediatrics in a variety of clinical settings, such as academic health centers, community hospitals, and private laboratories.

PATH 744 Pathology Review IV

An intense review of clinical and anatomical pathology theory with assigned presentations and clinical cases