Pathologists' Assistant (M.S.)

Office: 338 Mort Sci; 313-577-2050
Program Director: Veralucia Mendes-Kramer
http://cphs.wayne.edu/pathologists-assistant/

The Pathologists’ Assistant is academically and clinically prepared to assist pathologists in anatomic, surgical, autopsy and forensic pathology as well as ancillary services defined by the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants.  The Wayne State University Pathologists' Assistant program trains individuals who will assist pathologists in the performance of postmortem examination and in the dissection, dictation, and evaluation of surgical specimens for microscopic diagnosis. The program also provides individuals with budgetary, supervisory, and teaching skills. Lastly, the program trains individuals to function as competent entry-level pathologists' assistants capable of performing, under the supervision of a pathologist, those professional responsibilities as defined by the American Association of Pathologists' Assistants (AAPA). The Pathologists’ Assistant program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119, 847-939-3597,  773-714-8880, Fax: 773-714-8886,  http://www.naacls.org.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree (BA or BS) from an accredited college or university. In addition, students must:

  1. have a minimum cumula­tive and prerequisite undergraduate grade point average of 3.0;
  2. complete all prerequisite coursework with a minimum of a C or higher;
  3. submit two letters of recommendation;
  4. complete the TOEFL exam if English is not the first language;
  5. submit a WES course-by-course evaluation of foreign transcripts;
  6. provide documentation of 8 hours of shadowing experience in a surgical lab setting and 5 hours (or one autopsy) in a medical examiner setting;  
  7. attend one information meeting in the year of application.

Admission Interview

Interview is by invitation only to those candidates who have satisfied all requirements for admission. Interviews are extended only to the most competitive candidates owing to the limited number of seats in the program.  Meeting the minimum requirements to the program does not ensure an offer for an interview.

General Information Meetings

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences hosts general information meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Out-of state prospective applicants should contact the Admissions' Office for an audio presentation and associated documentation to submit with application.

Prerequisite Study

In addition, the following course work must have been successfully completed with a grade of C or higher in order to be considered for admission. Prerequisites listed below must be completed within the six years prior to the date of applying to this degree program.

  • Two Biology courses (higher than BIO 1050)
  • Microbiology with lab
  • Anatomy and Physiology with lab
  • General Chemistry with lab
  • Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry
  • Mathematics (MAT 1000 or higher) or Statistics
  • English Composition

Program Deadlines: All prerequisite coursework must be completed by May 1st for fall admission consideration.

The Master of Science in Pathologists’ Assistant is offered under a Plan C option and requires completion of the following course work. All course work must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the Graduate School governing graduate scholarship and degrees and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. A grade of ‘C’ in any graduate course is unacceptable. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterCredits
PAA 5020 Applied General Pathology 3
PAA 6560 Human Histology and Clinical Correlations 4
PAA 7060 Human Anatomy and Physiology for Pathologists' Assistants 3
PAA 7250 Clinical Academic Pathology I 3
 Credits13
Winter Semester
PAA 5050 Clinical Terminology and Methodology for the Pathologists' Assistant 3
PAA 5200 Medical Microbiology for Technical Professionals: Pathologists' Assistant 3
PAA 6060 Human Embryology and Pediatric Pathology 3
PAA 6420 Laboratory Management and Quality Management in Anatomic Pathology 3
PAA 7251 Clinical Academic Pathology II 3
 Credits15
Spring/Summer Semester
PAA 5100 Medical Photography and Techniques in Pathology 2
PAA 6150 Histochemistry for the Pathologists' Assistant 4
PAA 7200 Introduction to Autopsy Techniques and Forensic Pathology 3
PAA 7252 Clinical Academic Pathology III 3
PAA 7420 Future Trends in Pathology Practice and Education Methodology 2
 Credits14
Second Year
Fall Semester
PAA 7650 Surgical Pathology I 5
 Credits5
Winter Semester
PAA 7651 Surgical Pathology II 5
 Credits5
Spring/Summer Semester
PAA 7652 Surgical Pathology III 5
PAA 7890 Seminar in Anatomic and Surgical Pathology 1
 Credits6
 Total Credits58
Additional Year II courses (enrollment based on students' clinical rotations)
PAA 7500Clinical Autopsy Pathology1
PAA 7550Clinical Histopathologic Technique2
PAA 7600Clinical Pediatric Pathology3
PAA 7700Forensic Pathology and Techniques5
PAA 7750Clinical Laboratory Management in Anatomic Pathology2
PAA 7800Clinical and Forensic Photography2

Physical Examination

Prior to clinical rotations, all applicants are required to submit a complete physical examination form to the program, which must include a complete immunization record, evidence of HBV antibody titre, TB status, and flu vaccination record.

Liability Insurance

Clinical Education is provided during both year I and II of the program, along with didactic and laboratory courses.  Year II of the program is spent in clinical rotations through various selected clinical facilities throughout the metropolitan Detroit area, Michigan and other parts of the country, handling patients specimens and decedent remains.  Therefore, all students are required to maintain liability insurance, which will be purchased during both years of the program as a separate fee from those courses the student enrolls in.  In addition, the student is responsible for the cost of health insurance and all other costs (such as travel, meals, and living expenses) associated with the clinical education of the program.

PAA 5020 Applied General Pathology Cr. 3

Fundamental principles and theories applied to general pathology with special emphasis on disease processes and mechanisms found in adult and pediatric pathology. Offered Fall.

Corequisite: PAA 7250

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 5050 Clinical Terminology and Methodology for the Pathologists' Assistant Cr. 3

Clinical and medical terminology specific to the pathologists' assistant along with associated methodologies used in surgical and autopsy pathology in the second year of the program. Introduction to laboratory human organ system grossing methodologies. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7061 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $250

PAA 5051 Clinical Terminology and Methodology for the Pathologists' Assistant: Laboratory Cr. 2

The course is designed to familiarize students with surgical procedures, the most common surgical specimens received at the bench, and the manner in which such specimens are grossed, inked, sectioned, and submitted to histology. The use of simulation laboratory sessions for practice of grossing techniques and methodologies will emphasize the step-wise grossing, safety, and dictation of given pathological specimens. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7061 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 5100 Medical Photography and Techniques in Pathology Cr. 2

Theory of the behavior of light and selection of appropriate lenses; principles of exposure, color, and filters; macro- and microphotography. Adjustment of clinical photographs and student photographs corrected by Adobe Photoshop Professional resulting in a student Eportfolio. Offered Spring/Summer.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 5200 Medical Microbiology for Technical Professionals: Pathologists' Assistant Cr. 3

Infectious diseases affecting major organ systems of the body encountered by the pathologists' assistant. Clinical case study analysis with student presentations. Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 6060 Human Embryology and Pediatric Pathology Cr. 3

Embryological basis of pediatric and childhood diseases along with adult presentations. Human embryological correlations to clinical settings: case study analysis specific to the pathologists' assistant and clinical evaluation of pediatric pathology. Recognition of anatomical presentations with embryological development in normal and diseased states. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: PAA 5020 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major, minor, or concentration in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 6150 Histochemistry for the Pathologists' Assistant Cr. 4

Study of techniques specific to the Pathologists' Assistant involved in the preparation of tissues prior to microscopic examination and processing inclusive of embedding, sectioning, preparing frozen sections and performing routine and special stain on a variety of tissues. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisites: PAA 6560 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $200

PAA 6420 Laboratory Management and Quality Management in Anatomic Pathology Cr. 3

Interpersonal and technical management techniques for the clinical and anatomic pathology laboratory settings. Quality management techniques, policies, protocols and best practices for the pathologists' assistant. Safety mandates and protocols as applied to anatomic and surgical pathology. Discussion and analysis of governmental mandates covering laboratory improvement (CLIA). Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 6560 Human Histology and Clinical Correlations Cr. 4

Characteristics and identification of human tissue microanatomy. Functional interpretation of human microstructure. Examine and study prepared, strained tissue sections from a variety of organ sections both normal and abnormal allowing for clinical correlations in patient case presentations. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7060 Human Anatomy and Physiology for Pathologists' Assistants Cr. 3

Detailed comprehensive review of human anatomy and physiology as it pertains to the pathologists' assistant practice. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $350

PAA 7061 Human Anatomy and Physiology for the Pathologists' Assistant: Laboratory Cr. 1

Comprehensive examination of anatomical organs and organ systems through the use of human cadaver prosections, 3D models, computer software applications, medical imaging, and clinical correlations as it pertains to the pathologists' assistant scope of practice. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 7200 Introduction to Autopsy Techniques and Forensic Pathology Cr. 3

Comprehensive review of general and specialized techniques for performing postmortem examinations in both the hospital and medical examiner settings, with emphasis on the external examination, evisceration, and block dissection of the adult, perinatal, and pediatric decedent as it pertains to specific forensic pathology cases and presentations. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisites: PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of B

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $300

Equivalent: MS 4200

PAA 7210 Introduction to Autopsy Techniques and Forensic Pathology: Laboratory Cr. 1

Comprehensive review of general and specialized techniques for performing postmortem examinations in both the hospital and medical examiner settings with emphasis on the external examination, evisceration, and block dissection of the adult, perinatal, and pediatric decedent. Focus on developing techniques for the external examination of adult and pediatric cadaveric specimens, toxicology retrieval, evisceration techniques, and appropriate block dissection methodology and procedures. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisites: PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of B and PAA 7061 with a minimum grade of B

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 7250 Clinical Academic Pathology I Cr. 3

Systemic pathologies affecting the following organ and organ systems: white blood cells, lymph nodes, spleen and thymus, red blood cells and bleeding disorders, peripheral nerve and skeletal muscles, CNS, the skin, and the bones, joints and soft tissue tumors. Concepts of molecular diagnostics are integrated when appropriate. Offered Fall.

Corequisite: PAA 5020

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 7251 Clinical Academic Pathology II Cr. 3

Continuation of PAA 5020 and PAA 7250. Systemic pathologies affecting the following organ and organ systems: the blood vessels and heart, the lung, head, and neck, the gastrointestinal tract, liver and gallbladder, and the eye. Concepts of molecular diagnostics are integrated when appropriate. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of B and PAA 7250 with a minimum grade of B

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 7252 Clinical Academic Pathology III Cr. 3

Continuation PAA 7250 and 7251. Systemic pathologies affecting the following organ and organ systems: the kidney, the lower urinary tract and male genital system, the female genital tract, the breast, the endocrine system and the pancreas. Concepts of molecular diagnostics are integrated when appropriate. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisites: PAA 5020 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7250 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7251 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 7420 Future Trends in Pathology Practice and Education Methodology Cr. 2

Group discussion of trends associated with healthcare, patient care, technology, legal issues, education methodology, licensure and accreditation issues; medical ethics, safety, medicolegal, and quality management in anatomic, surgical and autopsy pathology are covered. Presentations lead to recommendations for future best practices in a variety of pathology settings. Students present research findings via PowerPoint and in a seminar format. Offered Spring/Summer.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 7500 Clinical Autopsy Pathology Cr. 1

Clinical autopsy procedures, including data retention, dissection techniques, selection of tissue for microscopic examination, and methods of body restoration prior to release in clinical facilities. Course addresses NAACLS competency levels for medical autopsy techniques (adult) and medical autopsy techniques (pediatric). Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7550 Clinical Histopathologic Technique Cr. 2

Organization of a histology laboratory, instrumentation and safety; advanced staining techniques including immunohistochemistry; frozen sections, tumor triage and proper handling of specimens for processing and assessment of clinical cases. Offered Fall.

Prerequisite: PAA 6560 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 6150 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7600 Clinical Pediatric Pathology Cr. 3

Embryological basis of pediatric and childhood diseases along with adult presentations. Human embryological correlations to clinical settings: case study analysis specific to the pathologists' assistant; clinical evaluation of pediatric pathology. Recognition of anatomical presentations with embryological development in normal and diseased states. Offered Fall.

Prerequisite: PAA 5050 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 6061 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

PAA 7650 Surgical Pathology I Cr. 5

Application of principles, theories, and clinical practices related to grossing (simple) surgical dissections. Addresses NAACLS competency levels associated with adult and pediatric surgical pathology techniques. Offered Fall.

Prerequisite: PAA 5050 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7250 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7251 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7252 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7651 Surgical Pathology II Cr. 5

Application of principles, theories, and clinical practices related to gross (simple and complex) surgical dissections. Addresses NAACLS competency levels associated with adult and pediatric surgical pathology techniques. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: PAA 5050 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7250 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7251 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7252 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7650 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7652 Surgical Pathology III Cr. 5

Application of principles, theories, and clinical practices related to gross (simple and complex) surgical dissections. Addresses NAACLS competency levels associated with adult and pediatric surgical pathology techniques. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisite: PAA 5050 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7250 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7251 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7650 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7651 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7700 Forensic Pathology and Techniques Cr. 5

Forensic autopsy techniques specific to the Pathologists' Assistant and compliant with NAACLS competency levels associated with adult and pediatric cases; forensic toxicology specimen collection and processing; forensic techniques associated with determining cause manner and mechanism of death; techniques of photographic record keeping and body release. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: PAA 6061 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7060 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7200 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7750 Clinical Laboratory Management in Anatomic Pathology Cr. 2

The clinical application of interpersonal and technical management techniques for the clinical and anatomic pathology laboratory settings. Quality management techniques, policies, protocols and best practices for the pathologists' assistant. Safety mandates and protocols as applied to anatomic and surgical pathology. Discussion and analysis of governmental mandates covering laboratory improvement (CLIA). Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: PAA 6420 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PAA 7800 Clinical and Forensic Photography Cr. 2

Techniques required to photographically record gross and microscopic specimens as presented from surgery and in surgical grossing, as well as from the forensic setting resulting in a PA student E-portfolio. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisite: PAA 5100 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

Course Material Fees: $100

PAA 7890 Seminar in Anatomic and Surgical Pathology Cr. 2

Clinically based capstone seminar course. Invited clinical specialists in anatomic and surgical pathology address contemporary issues in pathology allowing dialogue between pathologists' assistant students and pathologists. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisite: PAA 7650 with a minimum grade of C and PAA 7651 with a minimum grade of C

Corequisite: PAA 7652

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Pathologists'Assistant Program.

MENDES-KRAMER, VERALUCIA: M.A., B.A., Madonna University; B.S., Wayne State University; Clinical Assistant Professor