Pathologists’ Assistants (PAs) are health professionals working under the supervision of anatomical pathologists. Their responsibilities include:
- Gross examination of surgical specimens
- Non-forensic autopsies / post-mortem examinations
- Preparation of tissues for pathological tests
- Gross specimen photography
They may also hold managerial, instructional, supervisory, and research roles.
The course and practicum-based program comprises two continuous years of full time studies leading to a Master of Science in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology with specialization as Pathologists’ Assistant (PA).
The program consists of two terms (8 months) of didactic courses, including courses followed by a clinical practicum (16 months) and a scholarly research component in either basic or clinical research.
The clinical practicum component of the program will be competency‐based with students expected to successfully complete all competencies in the grossing station and autopsy suite, including safety, photography, professionalism, ethics, laboratory management, quality assurance, gross examination, dissection, dictation, synoptic reporting, preparation and examination of the human body, procurement of specimens.
The program has been designed so that graduates will be eligible to write the Canadian Certification Council of Pathologists’ Assistants (CCCPA-CCCAP) certification exam for Pathologists’ Assistants. Graduates will also be eligible to write the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification exam once accreditation is obtained from NAACLS.