Established in 1989, the Wayne State University Master of Science in Pathologists' Assistant (PAA) program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), the premier international agency for accreditation and approval of educational programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related health professions. One of thirteen programs in the United States and Canada, the Pathologists' Assistant program at Wayne State University is a two-year, full-time professional program that accepts 12-14 students per year.
The program begins in August of each year (effective 2020 the program will begin in May) after candidates are selected by an Admissions Committee to the professional program. The Admission Committee, in reviewing complete applications, will consider shadowing exposure in surgical/forensic pathology settings, work experience, letters of evaluation/recommendation, science pre-requisites GPA, and overall GPA.
Although academic achievement is important, knowledge of the profession, ability to communicate, and personal qualities of maturity, motivation, and integrity are equally important. Consequently, the Admission Committee will give great weight to evaluations from shadowing preceptors, faculty advisers and employment supervisors, as well as personal interviews in the selection of candidates. Final selection to the Pathologists' Assistant program is by committee interview, conducted by the Admission Committee to the program.
Once accepted, students will take one year of didactic course work that will emphasize the theory and application of anatomical, surgical and autopsy pathology. The professional curriculum has been arranged with the presumption that students will devote full time and energy to their college and university experience. Students are encouraged to limit their outside employment during the first professional year in order to benefit from the full complement of academic and cultural opportunities that are a vital part of higher education.
The second-year in the program is spent fully in clinical training. In the setting of urban and community hospitals, both locally and out-of-state, and under the tutelage of experience pathologists' assistants, clinical and forensic pathologists, and laboratory specialists our students receive a broad range of clinical exposure in the pathology gross lab and forensic medical examiner office where surgical and pathology skills are emphasized and prepare graduates to assist pathologists in the examination, preparation, and performance of specific tests and procedures to surgical specimens, as well as perform postmortem examinations. Due to the nature of our clinical rotations, outside employment during the clinical year is strongly discouraged.
Currently, our program provides their clinical training by cooperating with the Detroit Medical Center, Ascension-Crittenton, Beaumont Royal Oak, University of Michigan Health System, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and Garden City hospitals, as well as the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. An 8-week out-of-state rotation is required of all students.