Scope of Practice

Pathologists’ assistants are qualified by academic and practical training to provide, under the direction and supervision of a licensed, Board certified, or Board eligible pathologist, the following services:

Surgical Pathology

Preparation, gross description and dissection of human tissue surgical specimens including:

  1. Assuring appropriate specimen accessioning.
  2. Obtaining pertinent clinical information and history, including scans, x-rays, laboratory data etc.
  3. Describing gross anatomic features of surgical specimens, preparing tissues for histological processing, obtaining biological samples such as blood, tissue and toxicological material for studies such as flow cytometry, image analysis, immunohistochemistry, etc., and performing special procedures including Faxitron imaging and tumor triage.
  4. Preparing and submitting appropriate tissue sections for light microscopy (routine processing) as well as special procedures such as frozen section, electron microscopy and immunoflourescence microscopy.
  5. Photographing all appropriate gross specimens and microscopic slides.
  6. Performing duties relating to the administrative maintenance of surgical pathology protocols, reports and data, including the filing of reports, protocols, photographic data or slide, microscopic slides assisting in the completion of specimen coding and billing.
  7. Assuring proper maintenance of equipment, provision of adequate supplies and cleanliness of the surgical pathology suite.
  8. Assisting in the organization and coordination of anatomic pathology conferences.

Autopsy Pathology

Preparation of human postmortem examination, including:

  1. Ascertaining proper legal authorization for autopsy.
  2. Obtaining patient’s medical record/chart(s) and other pertinent data for review with the attending pathologist.
  3. Conferring with the attending pathologist(s) to identify any special techniques and procedures to be utilized in the completion of examination (e.g. cultures smears; histochemical, immunofluorescence, toxicological, viral or electron microscopic studies, etc.), and notifying all personnel directly involved.
  4. Notifying the physician in charge, the funeral home, and all other appropriate authorities prior to the beginning of the autopsy; and coordinating any requests for special specimen sampling (e.g. organ transplantation, research, etc.).
  5. Performing postmortem examinations which may include: external examination; in situ organ inspection; evisceration; dissection and dictation or recording of data such as organ weights, presence of body fluids, gross anatomic findings, etc.
  6. Selecting, preparing and submitting appropriate gross tissue sections for frozen section analysis as well as for light, electron and immunofluorescent microscopy.
  7. Obtaining biological specimens such as blood, tissue and toxicological material for studies including flow cytometry, image analysis, immunohistochemistry, etc.; and performing special procedures such as coronary artery perfusion, central nervous system perfusion, enucleation, inner ear bone dissection, spinal cord removal, etc.
  8. Photographing the body, organs, microscopic slides and other pertinent materials.
  9. Gathering and organizing clinical information and data pertinent to the preparation of the preliminary summarization of the clinical history.
  10. Preparing the body for release, (including indicating the presence of biohazards such as contagious diseases, radiation implants, etc.) and releasing the body to the appropriate mortuary or funeral home representative.
  11. Performing duties related to administrative maintenance of anatomic pathology protocols; photographic and microscopic slides; and assuring the completion of coding.
  12. Assisting in the organization and coordination of anatomic pathology conference.
  13. Assuring the proper maintenance of equipment, the provision of adequate supplies.

​Administrative Duties

  1. Performance of administrative, budgetary, supervisory, teaching, and other such duties as may be appropriate and assigned.