Medical Student Elective Courses

Dr. Fishback in SoM Histopath Lab

Dr. Jim Fishback in KUMC SoM Year 2 Histopathology Laboratory

Chair: Lowell Tilzer, MD, PhD

Pathologists play many roles in medicine, from interpreting surgical biopsies to supervising clinical laboratory testing. It has been estimated that 70% of all medical decisions are based on data generated by pathology departments. The department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at KUMC plays an integral role in the core curriculum and also offers elective courses to medical students interested in learning more about laboratory practice. Students in elective rotations participate in daily teaching conferences and specimen "sign-out" at the University of Kansas Hospital. They receive hands-on exposure to pathology technical methodology in the surgical pathology suite, microbiology laboratory, and cytogenetics laboratory.

All courses numbered under 920 are closed for enrollment effective June, 2013. The following courses are available effective July 1, 2013:


Primary Instructors: Lowell L. Tilzer, MD, PhD and Ossama W. Tawfik, MD, PhD
The elective provides an overview of hospital-based pathology practice.  It consists of a two-week rotation in the anatomic pathology core (surgical pathology, cytology and autopsy), a one-week rotation in hematopathology and a one-week rotation in microbiology/cytogenetics.  Students in the anatomic pathology core will have the opportunity for supervised prosection of surgical specimens, participation in the "sign-out" of surgical and cytology samples with the attending staff, and participation in autopsy if available.  Students in hematopathology will participate in the daily sign-out of bone marrow biopsy specimens.  The focus in this segment of the rotation is on the diagnosis of blood and bone marrow disorders such as leukemia.  The rotation in microbiology/cytogenetics will afford the student the opportunity to perform his/her own karyotype and learn about the diagnosis of infectious diseases by appropriate culture techniques.  Students are active participants in their learning via required pre-test, post-test, assigned readings, and PowerPoint case presentation at the end of the rotation.  Final grade is based on exam score (25%), case presentation (25%), and staff assessment of performance during the rotation (50%).  Prerequisites:  Completion of core clinical clerkships.


Primary Instructors: Ivan Damjanov, MD, PhD; Fang Fan, MD, PhD; Timothy Fields, MD, PhD; Garth Fraga, MD; Kathy L. Newell, MD; Maura O'Neil, MD
This rotation affords the student the opportunity to spend four weeks focused on a particular subspecialty of pathology or a pathology-based research elective.  The department has subspecialists in dermatopathology, neuropathology, renal pathology, breast and hepatic pathology.  The rotation consists of daily interpretation of subspecialty biopsies, participation in subspecialty conferences, slide set study, and assigned readings.  Students participate in their own learning by setting their rotation objectives with faculty at the start of their elective and following through with a schedule of clinical, laboratory and core lecture conferences.  Students will need to obtain the appropriate staff members' permission for the rotation as follows:  dermatopathology (Garth Fraga); neuropathology (Kathy Newell); renal pathology (Timothy Fields); breast pathology (Fang Fan); hepatic pathology (Maura O'Neil).   Prerequisites:  Completion of the core clinical clerkships and permission of the faculty.

Last modified: Jun 19, 2013