How to Become a Pathologist Assistant

Those seeking to work in a stressful but exciting medical environment may become a pathology assistant. There are several training programs for pathologist assistants, and jobs are available in any hospital or setting that offers pathology services.

The typical path for a pathologists’ assistant is to first get a bachelor’s degree in science. Although a degree in laboratory science is not necessarily required, it may be helpful in getting accepted into a pathology assistant training program. However, those majoring in biology, chemistry, or other natural sciences may also be accepted.

There may be some pathologist-assisting degree programs at the undergraduate level, but the primary path to a career as a pathologist assistant is to get a master’s degree in this field. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences accredits pathology-assistant degree programs. At the time of this writing, there are nine institutions that are accredited for providing a pathologists’ assistant training program. They are Quinnipiac University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Indiana University School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Wayne State University, Duke University Medical Center, University of Western Ontario, Drexel University, and West Virginia University. You can run an updated search for programs using the link in the Resources below.

As a side note, also keep in mind that certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology also requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of a pathologists’ assistant training program accredited by NAACLS. Certification must be achieved within 5 years after completing your education, so do not delay in filing an application. You will also have to take and pass the certification exam given by the ASCP to get certified in this field. Certification enhances your ability to get better jobs and higher pay as a pathology assistant.

The accredited programs will have some career placement services for pathologist assistant jobs. You may also use the CompHealth website to look for job openings around the country. You should also put in an application at local hospitals and laboratories. You will notice that many jobs do require certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Resources:

American Society for Clinical Pathology: Pathologist Assistant Information

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences: Pathologists’ Assistant Training Programs

CompHealth: Pathology Assistant Jobs