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Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Anatomic Pathology (Minnesota)


This four-week elective is very flexible and is designed to meet the interests of the student in exploring both general and subspecialty interests in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology (laboratory medicine).

A typical student schedule offers:

  • Ten days of general surgical pathology in the frozen section laboratories at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus, and Saint Marys Campus
  • Three to five days of surgical pathology subspecialty exposure, including exposure to the autopsy service
  • Two to five days of experience in clinical pathology, most often microbiology, hematopathology and transfusion medicine

Subspecialty exposure in anatomic and clinical pathology is tailored to your interests. This includes the amount of time you spend in each area, and the balance of time between surgical, autopsy and clinical pathology. It is also dependent upon educator availability in the various subspecialty areas.

Specific goals

  1. Become familiar with the working of a large anatomic pathology practice, with an emphasis in the frozen section laboratory
  2. Learn basic methods of evaluation of gross and microscopic specimens and making pathologic diagnoses in anatomic pathology
  3. Become familiar with clinical pathology laboratories

Activity outline

During this clerkship, you work at both frozen section laboratories doing gross and microscopic evaluation of pathologic specimens under the guidance of a faculty consultant, pathology fellows and residents. You may observe autopsies and review cases on subspecialty services in anatomic pathology. You are exposed to the functioning of the clinical pathology laboratories under the guidance of faculty consultants, fellows and residents.

As part of this program, you prepare an oral presentation on an interesting case, generally a case seen in surgical pathology or autopsy service. However if you spend more time in laboratory medicine, you may report on a clinical pathology case. Your presentation will consist of a brief history and pathologic findings followed by recent data about the cell and molecular biological aspects of the specific lesion.

Method of evaluation

During the course of this clerkship, you meet on a regular basis with the faculty coordinator.

Your evaluation is based on feedback from consultants, fellows, residents and any allied health staff that you work with in the various areas of the department, as well as an evaluation by the faculty coordinator.