Senior Clinical Electives

The Department of Pathology & Immunology offers the following electives for medical students in their senior year:

Autopsy Pathology

Course master

Louis P. Dehner, MD
Phone: (314) 362-0150
Email: dehner@wustl.edu


Overview

This full-time elective is designed to introduce students to autopsy pathology. Students will assist in performing autopsies, and together with the first-year pathology residents, will participate in all of the activities of the Autopsy Service including brain cutting, specialty microscopic conferences, and weekly autopsy case conferences. Students will be under the direction of senior pathology faculty.

Clinical Laboratory Medicine

Course master

Mitchell Scott, PhD
Phone: (314) 362-1503
Email: mgscott@wustl.edu


Overview

This elective is designed to teach the student how clinical laboratory assays are used in the diagnosis of disease and to understand the quality assurance tools the laboratory utilizes to assure the reliability of tests. The four-week elective includes rotations through laboratories in clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, transfusion medicine and hematopathology. During the elective the student will have a daily schedule, which includes didactic sessions with senior staff and house staff. Particularly useful clinical skills to be acquired include: morphology of peripheral blood smears and bone marrow biopsies; interpretation of coagulation tests, biomarkers of cardiac damage and serum protein electrophoresis patterns; appropriate use of blood component therapy and therapeutic apheresis; and identification of infectious organisms. Students will attend quality assurance meetings with senior staff, participate in microbiology rounds and present case discussions during this elective.

Dermatopathology

Course master

Ilana Rosman, MD
Phone: 314-362-5133
Email: irosman@wustl.edu


Overview

The student will be involved in all activities of the dermatopathology service. These include review, discussion and signout of gross and microscopic skin specimens. Signout occurs each day with a team that includes an attending, fellow, and residents from both dermatology and pathology. The medical student will work closely with the residents and fellow to preview cases prior to signout.

Dermatology Grand Rounds and dermatopathology lectures are held on Thursday mornings and are mandatory. In addition, dermatopathology slide review conferences are held on Friday mornings and are mandatory. Other learning opportunities include daily Consensus Conference, informal unknown slide sessions, weekly Dermatology Consult Clinicopathologic Conference and monthly Cutaneous Lymphoma Conference and Journal Club.

The primary goal of this elective is to acquire basic competence in the diagnosis of skin diseases at the microscopic level. A secondary goal is to acquire understanding of the structure and function of the laboratory at the technical, administrative and medical professional level as it pertains to skin specimens.

Diagnostic Hematopathology

Course master

Anjum Hassan, MD
Phone: (314) 747-1120
Email: ahassan22@wustl.edu


Overview

Student electives in diagnostics of diseases of hematopoietic cells aims to foster understanding of acute and chronic leukemias, reactive conditions mimicking malignancies, and lymphomas affecting adults and pediatric populations. This diverse field involves multiple ancillary diagnostic tests such as immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and genetic testing. This elective will offer medical students an in-depth insight into what goes behind the final pathologic diagnoses in hematologic malignancies before a treatment plan can be executed. This insight is crucial to understand the importance of correct diagnosis (the answer to the usual “what’s taking pathology so long” comment) and accurate, timely communication of preliminary and final diagnosis to the clinicians. Under general faculty and fellow supervision, the students will be primarily responsible for handling of their own cases such as bone marrow biopsies, simple lymph node biopsies, ordering the required tests, dictating the final reports and communicating with the clinicians. They will also participate in several conferences per week including Hematopathology consensus conference, weekly cytogenetic/molecular correlation conferences, journal club and interdepartmental bone marrow transplant and lymphoma conferences.

General Cytopathology

Course master

Jeff Wang, MD
Phone: (314) 747-8159
Email: shizhen.wang@wustl.edu


Overview

This elective is designed to familiarize students with the discipline of cytopathology and to encourage the development of basic skills. Cytopathology impacts many different areas of patient care and medical practice. The cytopathology laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital receives a broad range of medical cytology material involving fine needle aspiration (FNA), body fluids and Pap tests. As a result, the elective is beneficial for students considering a career in pathology and for students planning careers in internal medicine, surgery, OB-GYN, ENT, and radiology.

The focus of the experience can be customized based on the interest of the student. Desk space and a microscope are provided.

Students on the elective will (1) learn how patient specimens are received and processed (2) acquire skills in the microscopic diagnosis of disease through active participation and (3) learn the role of the cytopathologist in the care and management of patients.

Students will have the opportunity to function as junior house staff managing their own cases with supervision from residents, fellows, and attending cytopathologist. There are extensive study sets to permit students to focus on specific areas of cytopathology.

Ob-Gyn Pathology

Course master

Ian Hagemann, MD, PhD
Phone: (314) 747-8924
Email: hagemani@wustl.edu


Overview

The elective stresses the principles of anatomic pathology when applied to operative material in obstetrics and gynecology. The subintern will examine gross and microscopic specimens in the Ob-Gyn Pathology Lab and review pertinent literature with a senior pathologist. Ample time will be available for attending regular conferences in ob-gyn and pathology.

Neuropathology

Course master

Robert Schmidt, MD
Phone: (314) 362-7429
Email: reschmidt@wustl.edu


Overview

The course is structured to give the student a full-time immersion in the specialty of neuropathology including both neurosurgical and neuroautopsy derived material. There are daily didactic sessions that cover the spectrum of neurological diseases, review gross and microscopic neuro-anatomy, discuss approaches to the diagnosis of nervous system disease, and point out the interrelationships of research to clinical problems.

Multiple clinical conferences and diagnostic working sessions complement reading, use of a large microscopic Divisional study set and project work.

Surgical Pathology

Course master

Samir El-Mofty, DMD, MS, PhD
Phone: (314) 362-2681
Email:elmofty@wustl.edu


Administrative coordinator

Julie Gutierrez
Phone: 314-362-0143
Email: jgutierrez@wustl.edu


Overview

This elective is designed to familiarize students with the discipline of surgical pathology and to encourage the development of basic skills in gross pathology and histopathological interpretation.

The Laboratory of Surgical Pathology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital receives a broad range of medical biopsy material in addition to specimens derived from the busy surgical subspecialty practices. As a result, this elective is beneficial not only for students considering a career in pathology, but also for students planning careers in internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics-gynecology, pediatrics, radiology, radiation oncology and dermatology.

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