Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Laboratory Medicine

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The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP), in close collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN), is offering a two year, full-time professional Master’s graduate program (Master of Health Science degree) to educate clinical laboratory medicine scientists in one of two fields in Laboratory Medicine: 

  • Pathologists’ Assistant (PA) or 
  • Clinical Embryology (CE)

Find out more about the programs

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Watch a recording of our information event

Hear from the program team, Clinical Embryologists, and Pathologists' Assistants.

What is a Pathologists' Assistant?

As a Pathologists’ Assistant (PA), you would be an important member of the healthcare team who provides high-quality patient care.

You are a highly trained professional who provides anatomic pathology services under the supervision of a certified pathologist.

You are involved in providing various services in anatomic pathology, typically including:

  • preparing and examining surgical pathology specimens
  • performing postmortem examinations
  • being involved in laboratory operations (regulatory, quality improvement, management activities and education).

Your gross examinations allow the pathologist to render their diagnosis.

You will often work in a hospital, Forensic Services office, or other laboratory in a private or university setting.

Amy Calovini

Pathologists’ Assistants: playing a key role in patient care

Pathologists' Assistants (PA) are highly trained healthcare professionals who play a vital role in pathology laboratories and patient care.

We spoke to Amy Calovini about what a Pathologists’ Assistant is and how she came to be one at Mount Sinai Hospital, part of Sinai Health.

Read Amy's story

What is a Clinical Embryologist?

As a Clinical Embryologist, you are an essential member of an IVF team. 

You are responsible for all the laboratory components required for creating the healthy embryos that lead to pregnancy.

You assess patient’s medical and reproductive history to determine the best procedures for optimal results. Using your communication skills and empathy, you help your patients navigate the difficulties of infertility.

You work isolating cultures and micro-managing specimens, working with specialized equipment.

You use your team working skills to help train your colleagues and often conduct research to ensure your laboratory is using the very latest techniques and equipment.

You typically work in a hospital or fertility clinic.

Why study with us

As part of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, you will gain access to: 

  • Hundreds of expert faculty including basic scientists, pathologists, laboratory physicians, and scientists 
  • Outstanding case material 
  • Access to state of the art equipment and laboratory spaces: we are currently developing a clinical embryology simulation lab where students will be able to simulate patient care in an enclosed teaching environment
  • The strong focus on both academic and clinical skills; educational activities include the foundation course and field specific courses 
  • A stunning array of research opportunities 
  • Diverse training sites across our partner hospitals such as Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, the University Health Network, St. Michael’s Hospital, North York General Hospital, and Sunnybrook. 
  • Engaging student-run organizations 
  • One of North America’s largest and most ethnically diverse cities. Explore the city of Toronto on the Ontario Travel website.

Explore the university campus through a virtual tour.

By completing this program you will apply your knowledge to complex decision making, serious ethical issues, and develop a strong sense of personal accountability, intellectual rigour, and independence.  

The program: overview

Number of spaces available: 10 overall – 5 Pathologists' Assistants, 5 Clinical Embryologists

Program length: Two years 

Session dates: September 1 - August 31 

Program structure: Course work, tutorials as well as hospital & lab site rotations (PA)/clinical embryology simulation laboratory (CE)

Evaluation methods: course work, quizzes, tests, practical assessment 

Program Director: Dr. Avrum I. Gotlieb

Program Field Directors: Dr. Juan Putra (PA), Dr. Heather Shapiro (CE)


Due to current circumstances, the Master of Health Science in Laboratory Medicine program is not accepting applications from international students at this time.

You must have:

  • completed an appropriate bachelor's degree in the Life Sciences from a recognized university. 
  • an appropriate Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) from a recognized university, with an average of at least B+ in the last two years of full-time study.
  • a demonstrated interest in human biological and life sciences, preferably with a major or specialist program in the life sciences.

This program will prepare you for the study of biomedical science, for fluency in biomedical terminology, and for critical evaluation of biomedical literature. Courses in biology/life sciences, biochemistry, human anatomy and physiology are desirable. 

How to apply

Deadline: 31 March 2021. Applications are now closed.

How to apply: through the School of Graduate Studies online application system

You need to have a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) from a recognized university, with a minimum average of at least B+ in the last two years of full-time studies.

Your application needs to contain: 

  • Official Transcripts (digital preferred) 
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) 
  • Letter of Intent 
  • Two Academic References (submitted directly by referee) 

You will be interviewed prior to final acceptance into the program by the Program Coordinator and the Field Director to determine your fit with the program and your goals. 

We will assess your:

  • academic record
  • individual statement 
  • letters of reference
  • fit with the goals of the program and your interest in your chosen discipline through an interview.

Explore more

Visit the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology website

The School of Graduate Studies website

Sep 23, 2021
Each month we speak to a member of the Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology community and find out more about them. This month it is Ian Sue-Chue-Lam, a Pathologists' Assistant (PA) who teaches on our MHSc in Laboratory Medicine.