Teaching the Pathologists’ Assistants of the Future
How – and why – the PA program at Tulane University came into being
Sarah Garner | | Longer Read
The pathologists’ assistant program at Tulane University School of Medicine is a unique educational experience designed to offer students both essential training and the flexibility to pursue their own interests. Sarah Garner describes how she established the program – and why it’s a necessity for the evolving laboratory.
If pathology is an oft-overlooked field of medicine, then the role of the pathologists’ assistant (PA) is even more obscure. Many healthcare professionals, even those who regularly interact with the laboratory, are unaware of our existence – or, even if they know our names, may not be aware of our role in the lab. This lack of visibility presents a problem – not just for our ability to work alongside other medical professionals, but also for our ability to attract new students to our profession. Add to that the dearth of PA programs available to students and it becomes clear why I felt the need to establish a brand-new pathologists’ assistant program at Tulane University School of Medicine. I wanted to give aspiring PAs in the southern United States the same opportunities as those elsewhere. The program grants students a Master of Science in Anatomic Pathology and sets them up with the training they need to become successful PAs.
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