Pathology Assistant Career Plan
There are multiple paths to becoming a pathology assistant. You can pursue it as a first career; if you already have a career in a related field like histotechnology or cytotechnology, you can make a relatively quick transition into the field at a later point. A career as a pathology assistant does require at least a four year degree, so it’s not too soon to do some planning.
Become a Pathologist Assistant
- Career Plan: How to Become a Pathologist Assistant
Pathologist Assistant Resources…
Take advantage of the opportunities you have as a high school student. These opportunities may include more than just college prep and advanced placement science courses. There are a number of biomedical internships available. Some examples are the Berkeley Lab Internship for Precollegiate Scholars and the Jackson Laboratory High School Internship Program. Search “biomedical internships for high school” and you’ll find many more.
As an undergraduate, you should select a science major. Possible choices include biology, chemistry, or cytotechnology. You may also consider courses in the health sciences. Realize that your future school may list a range of human science courses, from immunology to genetics, among the preferred prerequisites – it’s good to look up the requirements in advance.
Try to shadow a professional before you actually commit to a program. There are hospitals that will allow you to do so, but you’ll need to take some preliminary steps, like getting blood tests for rubella, varicella, and Hepatitis B.
Research post-baccalaureate programs. Look for a program that is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. This will allow you to pursue national certification down the line.
Gather grad school references and take the GRE or MCAT. Your prospective school may have a preference for a particular exam.
While enrolled in your chosen program, continue to gain professional experience. Consider joining the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants or another professional organization.
Utilize all your resources to find a job. You’ll find a plethora of online job sites, including some specialty ones operated by professional organizations. Don’t overlook the value of networking, though – this includes real-world conferences and events as well as online sites.
Personality Traits: Pathology assistants are detail-oriented, inquisitive, and analytical.