Pathology Assistant Online Education Programs
Pathology assistant degree programs aren't typically available online, since this is a heavily lab-focused, clinical field of study. Read about on-campus master's degree programs for aspiring pathology assistants, and check the prerequisites for enrollment. Review the certification process for this position. Get career outlook and salary info for pathology assistants. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Can I Receive a Pathology Assistant Education Online?
To gain an education in pathology assisting, you generally need to complete an on-campus degree program. These programs are mostly available at the master's degree level. You'll take courses in general pathology, forensic and biomedical photography, lab management, physiology, medical terminology and disease mechanisms. You'll also complete labs in human anatomy and histochemistry. Depending on the program, you may have to attend conferences in a medical setting, such as a veterans' hospital.
Will I Complete Clinical Rotations?
Typically, you'll complete clinical rotations during your second year of study, after the classroom portion of the program. You'll rotate through a variety of medical settings, including university medical centers, hospitals and medical examiners' offices. Rotations may include general pathology, autopsy pathology, surgical pathology and systemic pathology.
What Do I Need to Know About Working in This Field?
At the end of your studies, you'll be eligible to take the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification exam. Although certification may not be required to work as a pathology assistant, the ASCP suggests that it can lead to better job prospects or a higher salary (www.ascp.org). As a certified pathology assistant, you may gain employment in clinical or hospital laboratories, academic centers or research facilities. According to Payscale.com, pathology assistants earned an annual salary of $45,324 at the 25th percentile and $80,673 at the 75th percentile, as of November 2010.
What Background Will I Need?
To enroll in a pathologists' assistant master's degree program, you'll need a bachelor's degree, preferably in some type of science. If you hold a non-science degree, coursework in biology, general and organic chemistry, anatomy, physiology and mathematics may qualify you for admission. Work experience may also be an admissions requirement; this might include shadowing a practicing pathologists' assistant or surgical or autopsy pathology experience. Minimum GRE or MCAT scores may also be required.
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