Qualifications: Pathologist’s Assistants (PA) in surgical pathology must be graduates of a NAACLS accredited PA program and have ASCP Board of Registry certification; AAPA membership status as Fellow is preferred. Recent graduates of an accredited program may be considered provided they obtain certification within the first year of employment and meet all requirements to sit for the exam at the time of hire.
Pathologist’s Assistants (PAs) are highly trained physician extenders in anatomic pathology and perform duties that would otherwise be done by physicians (pathologists). The certified Pathologist’s Assistant is qualified to perform gross analysis on any type of surgical specimen ranging from small biopsies to large resections, including the following: assisting in the preparation and performance of surgical specimen dissection by assuring appropriate specimen accessioning, obtaining pertinent clinical information including scans, x-rays, laboratory data, etc., recognizing and describing gross anatomic features of normal and diseased tissues and organs, dissecting and describing surgical specimens, preparing and submitting tissue for histologic processing and subsequent diagnosis, obtaining and submitting specimens for additional analytic procedures (immunostaining, flow cytometry, image analysis, molecular studies, cytogenetics, bacterial and viral cultures, toxicology, etc.) and photographing gross specimens. The high degree of responsibility assumed by the pathologists' assistant requires skills and abilities necessary to provide those services appropriate for an anatomic pathology setting.
The PA’s responsibilities and duties are defined by the attending Pathologists and may include but are not limited to the following:
The specific duties of the PA in the Surgical Pathology frozen section laboratory are dependent on the needs of the laboratory at the discretion of the attending pathologist. All PA services are provided under the supervision of a licensed and board-certified pathologist.
Required Qualifications at this Level
Master's degree from an accredited NAACLS PA program.
5+ years experience as Pathologist's Assistant. (Internships will not be counted towards 5 years.)
Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification:
Certification by the American Association of Pathologist Assistants.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Basic knowledge of human anatomy, macrosurgical techniques, general laboratory skills.Understanding of safety and infection control requirements of position. Demonstrated ability to obtain and prepare tissue for evaluation, provide assistance to pathologists, in a timely and quality manner. Proficiency in preparing and maintaining records, use of electronic communications tools and software.