Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fall Semester Classes

Now that the first week is over, I can better describe each of the classes we are taking this fall. It will be a challenging semester, but after the summer course I’m positive that we can conquer anything!

PSIO 743 – Fundamentals of Physiology
Physiology is the study of the functions of living things; therefore this class covers everything from cellular processes to organ systems.  The course has a lecture style of teaching and the class size is huge (there are dental, pharmacy, exercise physiology, and PA students in the class). This is the class I am most worried about this semester.  There is a lot of material presented to us each lecture and I feel that it would be very easy to fall behind in the class if you don’t study each night.

MICB 702 – Microbiology
This class focuses on the study of pathogenic microorganisms. I loved the microbiology class I took in undergrad, so I am excited for this class.  I think it’s fascinating how such tiny creatures can cause huge damage to us, and yet certain species can actually protect our body.

PATH 465 – Medical Laboratory Management
This course covers how to manage and organize a lab.  Because I have no knowledge on how to budget a laboratory or how to hire people, this course will be great if I do find myself in a management position in the future.

PATH 620 – Clinical Pathology Seminar
This course focuses on clinical laboratory procedures and how they correlate to the disease processes that we have previously studied.  I feel as though my classmates who are medtechs will definitely have the upper hand in this class.

PATH 610 – Educational Methodologies
This is an online class that focuses on skills for teaching any areas in the pathologists’ assistant field.  As a PA, we may have the opportunity to obtain a teaching position or we may be asked to give guest lectures.  Either way it is important to be able to effectively present information to your colleagues. This is a self-paced course, which is great because it allows you to focus on the assignments during the weeks that aren’t as hectic.

PATH 605 – Advanced Microanatomy
This course builds on the microanatomy class we had during the spring semester.  During the spring semester we focused only on normal microanatomy; now we will have to interpret the microanatomy when there is pathology present.

Surgical Pathology and Anatomy Review
We don’t receive a grade for this course, but it could arguably be the most important course we will take.  Over the semester we will review surgical pathology techniques so that we are better prepared for our clinical rotations. During the first week we covered dictations for small and simple specimens (biopsies, tonsils, appendix, etc.).  In addition to dictations, we will cover inking, dissection techniques, fixatives, frozen section techniques, etc.  This will be a great way to refresh our memory on everything we’ve learned and observed so far in our gross room rotations. Having this course will definitely help me feel less nervous on my first day of clinical rotations.

Also this semester we each spend a week in the gross room shadowing! I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing more complex specimens.


  1. I hope all is going well!! I am getting my Masters in Forensic Medicine and once I took forensic pathology I fell in love AND I know that is my next step! I will be shadowing at forensic pathologist starting in January

    1. Hi PrettyStals!
      That sounds awesome! We go to autopsy conferences each month where the Pathology residents present interesting cases they've had; they are always my favorite to attend. You'll have to let me know how the shadowing goes!