Pathologists' Assistant field
We accepted our first students in the fall of 2020. Their results were:
100% obtained a work placement
- Attrition rate: 0%
- Certification rate The Canadian Certification Council of Pathologists' Assistants (CCCPA): Not available
- Certification rate American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP): Not available
If you graduate from our program, you will be eligible to take the Canadian Certification Council of Pathologists’ Assistants (CCCPA) certification exam.
We are currently working toward full accreditation by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). We have achieved the “serious applicant status” with NAACLS and you will be eligible to take the American Society of Clinical Pathology Pathologists’ Assistant (PA (ASCP)) certification exam upon graduation.
What is a Pathologists' Assistant?
A Pathologists’ Assistant is a highly trained healthcare professional who provides various services in surgical and autopsy pathology under the direction and supervision of a certified pathologist.
You will typically be involved in:
- preparing and examining surgical pathology specimens
- performing postmortem examinations
- laboratory operations (regulatory, quality improvement, management activities, education, and research).
You will often work in a hospital, Forensic Services office, or other laboratory in a private or university setting.
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Program mission statement
The University of Toronto’s Master of Health Science degree in Laboratory Medicine - Pathologists’ Assistant Field - is committed to deliver an excellent professional graduate training program for health care learners that graduates highly qualified Pathologists’ Assistant professionals.
Program learning objectives
Upon graduation, you will possess the fundamental basic and clinical knowledge and practical and professional competencies required to practice as a Pathologists’ Assistant. Find out more about the learning objectives.
Q&A with Katie Ford: Pathologists’ Assistant in training
Pathologists’ Assistants: playing a key role in patient care
What and how you will learn
You will complete 9.5 full course equivalents (FCE) over two years.
In your first year, you will learn core academic competencies required to succeed in the field.
In the summer of year one, you will begin practicum rotations at hospital and laboratory sites across the Toronto area. These rotations are usually six weeks in length and will be at:
- The Hospital for Sick Children
- Mount Sinai Hospital
- North York General Hospital
- Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS)
- St. Michael’s Hospital
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
- The University Health Network
In your second year, you continue the practicum rotations, with a weekly academic half day, and work on your Capstone Research Project throughout the year.
You will complete core courses, which all PA and CE students take. These include topics such as:
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Biomedical Research Methods
- Clinical Laboratory Management
- Biomedical Ethics
PA specific courses
You will also take courses specific to your field, which include:
- Basic Principles in Human Pathobiology and Pathophysiology
- Anatomy and Pathology of Organ Systems
- Advanced Anatomy Dissection
- Practicums in Surgical Pathology, Autopsy Pathology and in Forensic Pathology
- Science of Biobanking
See Courses overview for full details on the courses.
Contacts for the PA field
Program Administrator: Clinical and Professional Program Assistant
Graduate & Life Sciences Education Officer
Dr. Fang-I Lu
MDCM FRCPC, MScCH (HPTE) candidate
PA Field Director and Associate Professor
MSc, PA(ASCP)CM, CCCPA
Education and Clinical Coordinator, Pathologists’ Assistant Field and Lecturer
Dr. Avrum Gotlieb
Program Director and Professor
National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
You can contact the NAACLS at:
- 5600 N. River Rd, Suite 720 Rosemont IL 60018-5119
- Phone number: 773.714.8880
- Fax number: 773.714.8886
- Email: email@example.com