UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant Program

The Pathologists’ Assistant program at UTHSC is a professional entry-level master’s degree program.

Operating as usual


Our application is now open! Our next tip is about the shadowing requirements, described below. How should you go about getting shadowing experience? Start with your network – do you know anyone who works in pathology or in a laboratory who can connect you? Reach out to your local hospitals to get in touch with the pathology lab.
For more information on application requirements and the admissions process, download shadowing forms, or to contact us with your specific questions, visit us here: https://uthsc.edu/health-professions/diagnostic-health-sciences/pathologists-assistant/admissions.php


Join us in welcoming our new first year students, the Class of 2025! 👏
Despite a challenging start to the year with last week's campus closure, they are back in action in the lab, diving into the fascinating world of human anatomy. Today they started dissecting their cadavers for the first time. Throughout the anatomy lab course, they will skillfully prosect their cadavers, exploring muscles, bones, body cavities, and organs, as well as learn autopsy and dissection techniques along the way.


Our application is now open through May 31st, so we’re sharing a few helpful tips!
First up, who should you ask for a recommendation letter? 🤔 The key is to choose people who can truthfully and objectively speak to your abilities and character. Letters should not be from friends, classmates, or coworkers who are not in a supervisory role above you. Whomever you choose, be sure to ask them well in advance of the deadline so they have plenty of time to write you a good recommendation. Make sure you let them know where you are applying and the type of program, which will help them guide their recommendation.
For more information on application requirements and the admissions process, or to contact us with your specific questions, check out our website here: https://uthsc.edu/health-professions/diagnostic-health-sciences/pathologists-assistant/admissions.php


Congratulations to our first cohort of students, the Class of 2024, for finishing their first year of the program! 🥳🎉
We officially welcomed them into their second year with our Clinical Advancement Ceremony last week, where their hard work over the past year was acknowledged and celebrated. As a class they recited a pledge of ethics that will guide their practice over the clinical year and beyond as burgeoning Pathologists' Assistants and healthcare providers. Each of them were presented with an engraved scalpel as as a symbol of our practice and recognition of their promotion to the clinical year.
Please join us in offering congratulations to the Class of 2024, and best of luck as they head out on their first clinical rotations in January! 👏👏

Photos from UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant Program's post 11/09/2023

Kidneys, prostates, thyroids, skins, oh my! 😮
Our first years have been busy this semester honing their grossing skills in the lab, practicing with both real tissue (cadaver and animal) and more creative "specimens" with a variety of items, including limes serving as prostates! 🍋
The goal of our gross lab is to mimic true specimens as much as we can, so that our students will be well-prepared to handle their first patient specimens during their upcoming clinical rotations.


Here's a sneak peek of what we've been up to lately - Our first-year students are back in class this week starting their Fall trimester after a well-deserved break, during which we’ve been hard at work making the final preparations for our brand-new lab space. This lab will be solely dedicated to the Pathologists’ Assistant Program, and include grossing stations, two cryostats, a bone saw, microscopes, and more!

Stay tuned to see how the lab turns out… 👀


We’ve just wrapped up the current admissions cycle, and we can’t wait to welcome our second cohort of future Pathologists’ Assistants to the program in January! Interested in applying for the next cohort?! We have made a few updates to the application highlighted here.
The Human Anatomy and/or Physiology pre-requisite requirement may be either an anatomy course, physiology course, or combined A&P. Additional credit hours in anatomy/physiology are not required, but do strengthen an application. The hours of shadowing required have not changed from a minimum 8 hours in surgical pathology, but we have added a shadowing form applicants will use to document their shadowing hours for the application. While autopsy shadowing is not required, it is strongly recommended and will also strengthen an application. Applicants with autopsy shadowing experience will also fill out a form to verify those hours.

This application will open in January to admit students for the cohort beginning classes January 2025 and graduating December 2026.
For more details on these changes and to see the complete application requirements, or to contact us with your specific questions, check out our website: https://www.uthsc.edu/health-professions/diagnostic-health-sciences/pathologists-assistant/admissions.php


Who says balloons are just for parties?!🎈They also make fantastic gallbladder grossing substitutes – especially when filled with “calculi” and “bile”!

Photos from UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant Program's post 06/21/2023

Part of our first-year courses in surgical pathology include practicing grossing techniques in the lab on both real and fake tissues so that they are prepared to begin grossing patient specimens during their second year clinical rotations. Here our first year students are practicing appendix grossing using green beans, which make surprisingly great substitutes for the real thing!


Thanks to our first cohort student Jasmine for representing the program so well!
If you haven't read the article about our program featured on UTHSC, check out the link below!

UTHSC College of Health Professions began a UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant Program earlier this year, and it could not have come at a better time for the first cohorts like Jasmine Becton (pictured middle left)! The two-year program sets out to prepare students like Becton and her classmates for a board of certification exam while also awarding them with a Master of Health Science in Pathologists’ Assistant.

Read more about Jasmine’s experience and the benefits of this program: https://news.uthsc.edu/pathologists-assistant-program-provides-new-pathway-for-health-professions-students/


We have great news - the UTHSC Pathologists’ Assistant program’s initial accreditation application has been approved by NAACLS!🥳The timing of this news couldn’t be better as our first cohort of students approach their clinical rotations, and as we prepare to admit the second cohort of students in January 2024.
NAACLS accreditation is a multi-year process. Approval of the initial application is the first formal step, followed by “Serious Applicant Status” which will grant our students the privilege to sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification Exam for Pathologists’ Assistants.
For more information on our program, admissions, and the accreditation process, check out our website here: https://www.uthsc.edu/health-professions/diagnostic-health-sciences/pathologists-assistant/accreditation.php


Happy Monday! We’re excited to share this article published in the UTHSC News today highlighting our program, featuring an interview with current student Jasmine Becton. Jasmine discusses how she is enjoying the program and what drove her to pursue a career as a Pathologists’ Assistant, saying of pathology: “It’s like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.”

Read the article to see what makes our PathA program so ✨sweet✨: https://news.uthsc.edu/pathologists-assistant-program-provides-new-pathway-for-health-professions-students/


Reminder that applications for the next cohort (Class of 2025) are due in just a few short weeks on May 31st! Make sure all your materials are submitted by the deadline, including any outstanding transcripts or letters of recommendation.

Looking to apply for the following year, class of 2026? Our next application cycle will open in January of 2024.

Please see the link below for more details on the application and admissions process, and to reach out with any specific questions!

Photos from UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant Program's post 05/10/2023

Our students kicked off the summer trimester this week by learning how to create their own blood smear slides to review in Microanatomy class! With guidance from our histology program faculty, students collected their own blood samples, smeared the slides, and stained & cover-slipped them. One of our students with a MLS background also showed off her skills in venipuncture!
While preparation of a blood smear is not a typical duty of a practicing pathologists' assistant, students learn about many types of procedures and special stains used throughout the pathology laboratory.


Since we’re a new program on campus, it’s not surprising that we get asked this a lot – what’s a pathologists’ assistant?! Good thing we love talking about our profession and sharing it with anyone and everyone we meet!
There is truly so much a PathA does, we can't fit it all in one post. For more on what Pathologists’ Assistants do, check out this information from our professional organization, the American Association of Pathologists' Assistants: https://www.pathassist.org/page/What_is_a_PA


Our current admissions cycle is open! Complete your application by May 31st in order to be considered for the class of 2025, which will begin classes in January 2024. The following admissions cycle for the class of 2026 will open in January. For more information on application requirements and the admissions process, or to contact us with your specific questions, visit our website here: https://www.uthsc.edu/health-professions/diagnostic-health-sciences/pathologists-assistant/admissions.php


Happy Pathologists' Assistant Day from the UTHSC PathA program! Our first cohort celebrated by showing off our new program swag and visiting the brand new lab space dedicated to our program.


What better day than Pathologists' Assistant Day for us to officially join Instagram and show off the Pathologists' Assistant program here at UTHSC!!
Here is a little bit about our program. We've just kicked off our first cohort in January, so we are excited to give you a peek into their experience here.
Find more about the program on our website at the link in our bio!


The first cohort of Pathologists' Assistant students at UTHSC began their human cadaver dissections this month!

Human cadaver dissection is an integral component of the Pathologists' Assistant curriculum at UTHSC. Not only will the students be learning and observing the anatomy of the human body through cadaveric dissection, they will be creating and grossing surgical specimens from every organ system, as well as being introduced to basic autopsy procedures!

Good luck PathA students!


The UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant Program began its inaugural cohort this week, and the students have successfully finished their first week of classes! Congratulations!

The program received final State approval back in July of 2022, and admissions opened in early August. With over 50 applications submitted, the program admitted just 6 students in its first cohort.

The students will spend the next year of the program in Memphis completing their didactic course work, followed by another year of clinical rotations across the state.

The next application cycle (with classes starting in January 2024) has already opened and will close May 31st.


The UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant program is excited to announce the hiring of their newest Faculty member and their Clinical Coordinator, Samantha Etters, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM.

Samantha brings to the Clinical Coordinator role several years of clinical experience as an ASCP certified Pathologists’ Assistant, with full time positions at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, TN and Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, TN, and as a traveling PathA taking assignments across the country, including at the Cleveland Clinic.

Moreover, Samantha has contributed to the clinical literature through a case study and literature review paper titled, "Breast Cancer Metastasis to the Colon Presenting After Fifteen Years". This work was recognized by the American Association of Pathologists' Assistants (AAPA) and featured in the AAPA publication The Cutting Edge.

In her spare time, Samantha volunteers for the AAPA as the Chair of the Digital Communications subcommittee of the Marketing Communications Committee to help promote and advocate for the PathA profession.

Samantha is a graduate of the Pathologists’ Assistant graduate program at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

Welcome Samm!


Are you interested in going to Pathologists' Assistant school? This is your opportunity!

The application for the UTHSC Pathologists' Assistant program is now open! The inaugural application cycle opened last Friday August 23, 2022 and will remain open until October 31, 2022. You can begin your application by following the link below. Additional information, as well as the application requirements can be found on our website.

https://uthsc2023.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/ #/login

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