Allison Topper Receives Resident Teaching Award

By Jamie Botta


On July 13th, 2023, Duke Pathology hosted a Pathologists’ Assistant Program graduation dinner. At the event, Staff Pathologists’ Assistant and Preceptor Allison Topper MHS, PA(ASCP) CM, received the Resident Teaching Award, which recognizes a Pathologists’ Assistant who, in the opinion of the Pathology residents, has distinguished themselves in teaching effort and ability. Topper serves as course coordinator and clinical liaison in Surgical Pathology. She started her career at Duke as a Pathologists’ Assistant student, graduating from the program in July 2017.

“Working at Duke, I get to be involved in the hands-on training of both Pathologists' Assistant students and pathology residents in the Surgical Pathology lab,” said Topper. “The time spent teaching challenges me to hone my grossing skills and pathology knowledge and stay current in the field. Watching students progress from beginners without any grossing experience to capable pathologists' assistants ready to enter the profession is very rewarding!"

Pathologists’ Assistants are highly trained allied health professionals who provide various services under the direction and supervision of a pathologist. They interact with pathologists in a manner similar to physician’s assistants in surgical and medical practice, carrying out their duties under the direction of their physicians. Learn more about the program’s history here.

Duke’s Pathologists’ Assistant Program consists of two calendar years of training. There are three semesters during the academic year, including summer practical rotations. During the first year, Fall and Spring academic semesters include medical school level courses in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, gross and microscopic human anatomy, human physiology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology and pathology. Learn more about our curriculum here.