RE: Patholgist's Assistant
1. I received formal histology and autopsy training at AFIP with the Air
Force. My PA training was conducted "on the job" with several Air Force
pathologists. There are 6 NAACLS accredited PA programs in the country 5
are master programs and 1 is a BS program. All are listed on our website
www.pathologistsassistants.org . The AAPA as announced its decision to
pursue outside certification as opposed to its current fellowship exam. The
final move to certification will most likely end the OJT route of entry into
2. I enjoy my job very much. I gross about 24,000 cases a year. I get to
work with everything from skin bxs to complex resections. Normally I only
see the pathologists if we go to lunch together. I do all autopsies during
the week with the help of a histotech as diener. We do about 30 autopsies a
year and the pathologists handle the weekend call. The job is challenging
and I enjoy the professional atmosphere.
3. It is easy to find a job (I get at least one recruitment letter every
week or so). Normally if you don't live in a large city with lots of health
care you would have to move. Sometime you can contact local hospitals and
discuss your abilities with the pathologists. Most jump at the chance of
leaving the cutting board to someone else.
4. I haven't found any pitfalls yet.
5. Being a certified HT does help set you apart from other PAs and helps
the HTs at the lab accept you better. It never hurts to have all the
training you can.
6. There is not much overlap between HT and PA. Most PAs receive little
histology training in school. Normally it is just enough to understand the
job. Most PAs, like pathologists, can't understand why histotechs scream
when tissue pushes out the holes of the cassette when snapping down the lid.
I hope this helps.......
Charles R. Embrey Jr. PA(AAPA), HT(ASCP)
Carle Clinic, Urbana Illinois
From: Jennifer Nelson [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 2:06 PM
Subject: RE: Patholgist's Assistant
I'm at work right now, so I can't make a long distance phone call. Do
you mind if I ask you a couple of questions on e-mail? Did you complete a
formal program, or were you on the job trained? Do you enjoy your job and
find it rewarding? Is it easy to find a job or do you find that you have to
relocate? Are there any downfalls to the career? Do you find that being
certified both as a PA and a HT makes you more desirable to employers, or is
the PA enough? Is PA and HT training redundant, or is there not that much
overlap. Thanks for your help.
>To: 'Jennifer Nelson'
>Subject: RE: Patholgist's Assistant
>Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 13:18:54 -0600
>I think there are 3 or 4 of us on histonet. Give me a call if you would
>like and I can probably answer any questions you have. (217)383-6621
>Charles R. Embrey Jr. PA(AAPA), HT(ASCP)
>Carle Clinic, Urbana Illinois
>From: Jennifer Nelson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 11:24 AM
>Subject: Patholgist's Assistant
> I was just wondering if anyone on this list is a Pathologist's
> I was thinking about applying to some of the programs next year, but
>I wanted to get an idea of what the job is actually like from someone who
>does it everyday. There's not so much information on the internet, and I'm
>not sure how much of it is correct info anyway. If any of you are
>Pathologist's Asssistants, could you please tell me a little about your
>if you like it, downfalls of the job, etc. I'd really appreciate it.
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