So I just started my last quarter of “school” this week. In most Pathologists’ Assistant programs, the first year of school is your didactic year (meaning that you are in the classroom learning). The second year of school is when you will do your rotations through different hospitals to get experience with grossing and performing autopsies.
This is Quarter 4! This is the last quarter before entering into the rotation year. This quarter we have five classes.
One class is Advanced Microanatomy. In this class, we learn about a disease and also learn what it looks like under the microscope. There is a new aspect of the job that is emerging where we as the PA screen the slides for the Pathologists. Therefore, last quarter we learned what looks normal, and this quarter we are learning what looks abnormal and what disease it could be. I have a feeling this will be a difficult class, but a fun one.
Another class that we are taking is Disease Mechanism II. Last quarter we took Disease Mechanism I. Disease mechanism is where the bulk of our board exam information is taught. The book we use in this class is “Robbins” and it is like the “bible” for our program. We are learning about all disease processes in this class. We learn about how the disease presents itself and what the disease looks like to the naked eye or under a microscope. This class meets four times a week. It is a lot of information but very important to our future. The only bad thing about this class is that I am slowly becoming a hypochondriac because I think I have everything we learn about!
This quarter we are also taking a photography class. This sounds funny, however, while preforming autopsies, we will have to take photos. When we are dissecting a specimen with cancer, we will also have to take photos to show to the pathologist to help them with the diagnosis.
The fourth class we are taking is Lab Management. As a PA, you might possibly be in charge of the lab that you are working in. In this class we will learn how to run a lab and our leadership styles. We haven’t started this class yet, so more to come in the future.
Last but not least, we are also taking a class called Clinical Pathology. This also has to do with the lab and different aspects of the lab. This class is taught by a pathologist and some of the pathology residents. It is an interesting class, and I am excited to learn about how the lab is run since I do not have any experience working in a lab.
So here is to the last quarter of taking classes. Here is a picture of my classmates and me on our last first day of school ever! I am one step closure to getting my white coat at the end of August, and I am getting close to graduation in September 2019!