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For Medical Students


Medical Student Pathology Interest Group

The Pathology IG aims to increase awareness of the breadth of pathology and related subspecialties. We hope to demonstrate the integral role of pathologists in providing clinical care to patients and provide mentors to students interested in pathology. We provide many opportunities for students to get involved, including faculty presentations, laboratory tours, organ-specific gross and microscopic review with USMLE-tested material, fine needle aspiration workshops, and autopsy trimming workshops.

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Medical Student Electives

Pathology is not only about dead people, folks!

Elective rotations in Anatomic Pathology include two to four week blocks in Autopsy Pathology, Cytopathology, and Surgical Pathology. A four-week (required) elective in Forensic Pathology is offered at the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office. Clinical Pathology electives include Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine, Hematopathology and Molecular Diagnostics.

There is some flexibility available within these electives such that arrangements can be made to participate in two back-to-back two-week blocks of two separate entities (i.e., two weeks in Cytopathology followed by two weeks in Surgical Pathology). Arrangements for these electives are made through the Graduate Medical Education in Pathology Office.

For additional information on electives in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, please contact us at (585) 273-4580 or send us an e-mail.

William B. Hawkins Post-Sophomore Fellowship

The Year-Out Medical Student Fellowship in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is a long-standing Rochester tradition, having been established by George H. Whipple, M.D. with the first medical school class. Each year, several students choose to interrupt their normal medical curriculum for one year in order to take advantage of the educational opportunities available through this fellowship program. The program allows students to:

  1. Consolidate their basic science knowledge and experience.
  2. Conduct in-depth studies in the mechanisms of disease and gain further experience in clinico-pathologic correlations.
  3. Gain insights into diagnostic medical decision-making while performing duties and accepting responsibilities comparable to those of first-year pathology residents.
  4. Participate in clinical or basic research projects.

The University of Rochester Year-Out Fellowship is not specifically designed to prepare students for careers in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Indeed, a large number of student fellows have subsequently decided to pursue careers in other areas of academic or clinical medicine, going on to distinguished careers in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics and psychiatry. On the other hand, a significant number of students found experiences during their fellowship stimulating and helpful in allowing them to ultimately select pathology as a future career. Many have subsequently achieved academic distinction in our discipline. The success of this program at the University of Rochester has led to the adoption of similar types of year-out experiences at other medical schools.

Most medical students choose to participate in the year-out fellowship between the second and third year of medical school. Some have done so between their third and fourth year. In either case, transition to either the third or fourth year has been smooth for all students. Students who have completed the program tell us that their knowledge of basic and clinical sciences was greatly enhanced by this intense learning experience, and that this has had a very positive effect on their subsequent performance as students and residents, and on their careers in medicine.


Applications are accepted in March and April for the next academic year. As the number of student fellows accepted into the program depends upon available funding, students should check with the Student Affairs Office in order to determine their eligibility for work/study aid prior to beginning the application process.

Individuals interested in obtaining additional information regarding the year-out student fellowship in Pathology should contact (585) 273-4580 or send e-mail.