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Medical Student Elective Courses

Pathology student interest group in Pathology Scope Room

Clinical electives offered during the student's fourth year of enrollment

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 & 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.

Medical Electives Flyer (pdf)



Primary Instructor: Katie Dennis, MD
This elective is designed to introduce the student to the practice of pathology and the role of the pathologist in diagnosis and management, and will provide exposure to several subspecialty areas within the pathology department. An effort will be made to tailor the elective experience to the needs and interests of the individual student, including those interested in pathology as a career, and those interested in broadening their understanding of pathology in general, or in relation to their chosen field.

The course consists of a two-week rotation in surgical pathology/autopsy, a one-week rotation in hematopathology, and a one-week rotation in cytopathology. The student will work closely with the pathology residents, fellows, and faculty on service.

In surgical pathology, students will have the opportunity to partake a range of experiences, including supervised prosection of surgical specimens, microscopic evaluations, frozen section evaluations, ancillary techniques, and participation in the "sign-out" of surgical cases with the attending staff. Participation in autopsy procedures will take place as available. In hematopathology, the student will participate in the diagnosis of blood and bone marrow disorders and take part in daily sign-out of bone marrow biopsy specimens. In cytology, the student will assist in the work up and sign out of gynecologic and non-gynecologic cytologic specimens and participate in FNA procedures.

At the end of the rotation, each student will present an interesting case they encounter during a formal  Powerpoint presentation to faculty and residents.  Final grade is based on attendance, participation in daily activities, knowledge of general concepts and practice of pathology, and final case presentation. Prerequisites:  Completion of core clinical clerkships.

Primary Instructors: Fang Fan, MD, PhD; Timothy Fields, MD, PhD; Garth Fraga, 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; renal pathology (Timothy Fields); breast pathology (Fang Fan); hepatic pathology (Maura O'Neil).   Prerequisites:  Completion of the core clinical clerkships and advance permission of the faculty.

Last modified: Jun 15, 2020