Medical Student Education
First and Second Year
Pathology is integrated with other curricular areas in the first and second years of medical school. Despite following this integrated system based approach, the discipline of Pathology remains a major course in the medical curriculum, providing an overview of human diseases by studying general disease processes and those associated with specific organ systems. Lectures, Class Inclusive Learning Sessions (CILS) and related Student Case Presentations (SCP) sessions are used to elucidate the fundamental aspects of diseases.
Topics are presented to complement content discussed in other courses to reinforce student learning on a topic. For each topic, the training will be within discipline, across disciplines and taught by content experts. While the new format introduces students to multiple clinical concepts, Pathology’s goals and objectives remain the same. These include:
- To develop a comprehension and knowledge of the etiology, pathogenesis, structural and functional manifestations of disease, a vocabulary to communicate this knowledge and the ability to use this knowledge to solve appropriate problems.
- To learn and understand the biologic principles which govern changes in cells and tissues as a response to abnormal stimuli.
- To develop beginning skills in recognition of disease at the gross, microscopic and ultrastructural level.
- To understand the dynamics of disease and to be aware of the natural course of specific disease states and the result of intervention by a physician.
- To develop beginning skills in laboratory test interpretation so as to make judicious and cost-effective use of the clinical laboratory.
- To learn how Pathology as a medical specialty relates and contributes to clinical medicine.
- To develop basic skills of case presentation and use of electronic presentation media.
Third Year Specialty Clerkship
In Year 3, students have the opportunity to take the Pathology Specialty Clerkship. This two week clerkship is designed to provide students with a survey of the field of pathology with a focus on understanding the current and evolving role anatomic and clinical pathology plays in patient care. Students attend departmental meetings and conferences, participate in tutorials given by residents, observe sign-out sessions and one autopsy, spend time in the anatomic, clinical, molecular diagnostic, and microbiology laboratories, and prepare for and deliver one 20-minute presentation at the end of the rotation. For students interested in pursuing a career in pathology, this two week rotation provides a broad overview of the field and can help students gauge their interest in pathology as a profession. For students interested in entering a specialty other than pathology, this rotation provides valuable understanding of the inner workings of a pathology department.
Fourth Year Electives
In Year 4, students have the opportunity to take elective courses. The UC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine currently offers elective courses in:
- Laboratory Medicine
- Perinatal pathology
- Surgical Pathology