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Master of Health Sciences Pathologists' Assistant (A-PTA-MHS)

Master of Health Sciences Pathologists' Assistant

Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology: Jiaoti Huang, MD, PhD
Director, Pathologists’ Assistant Program: Michelle P. Johnson, MHS, PA (ASCP) CM
Faculty Liaison: Rex Bentley, MD
Medical Director, Pathologists’ Assistant Program: Diana Cardona, MD
Director, Surgical Pathology: Rex Bentley, MD
Duke Surgical Pathology Training Coordinator: Allison Topper, MHS, PA (ASCP) CM
Director, Autopsy Pathology: Caroline Glass, MD, PhD
Autopsy Pathology Training Coordinator: Meridith Hennessey, MHS, PA (ASCP)
Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center: Elizabeth Boswell, MD
Director of Surgical Pathology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center: Amy Lark, MD
VA Surgical Pathology Training Coordinator: TBD


Program of Study

This is a 23.5-month program beginning with the start of the medical school academic year in August of each year. Students take most of their first-year basic science courses in the School of Medicine with the medical students. The first-year curriculum provides a broad, graduate-level background in medical sciences in support of intensive training in anatomic pathology. With a background in anatomy, histology, physiology, and microbiology, the students learn pathology at the molecular level in the classroom and are trained and given experience in the microscopic and gross morphology of disease in close, one-on-one training with pathology department faculty. They learn dissection techniques and all technical aspects of anatomic pathology in year-round clinical rotations. The curriculum is designed to produce individuals who fill the gap between the pathologist on the autopsy and surgical pathology services and other technical personnel who work in the tissue processing laboratory, while also preparing graduates to assist in the training of students and pathology residents.


The curriculum, faculty, facilities, and administration of the program are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS 5600 North River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119, (773) 714-8880, Graduates are qualified to sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification examination.