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About the Clerkship

Clinical Clerkship in Pathology Informatics (PA503M.3)

Note: This is a Medical Student Elective Rotation in Pathology 

Pathology Informatics uses data management, imaging and information theory to facilitate the diagnostic, research, and patient care missions of Pathology. This course will introduce students to the challenges and accomplishments in Pathology Informatics, while simultaneously providing integrated exposure to several subspecialty areas within the pathology department (i.e. surgical pathology, molecular pathology, cytopathology, laboratory medicine, etc).  

Didactic sessions and hands-on laboratory experience form the core of the rotation. The student will also have the opportunity to work closely with faculty, fellows, and residents on a project of mutual interest. At the end of the clerkship, the student will present to the department on a topic of his or her choice.

While the course is primarily organized to provide preparation for a potential career in Pathology, students interested in other areas of medicine will be able to gain insights into the role of pathologists and laboratory information systems in medical and surgical diagnosis and management. Previous computer experience is not required, but may be helpful. Enrollment is subject to the pre-approval by Veronica Klepeis, MD, PhD.

Evaluative Criteria

High Honors: Demonstrates exceptional grasp of the learning objectives, in comparison to his/her peers; contributes meaningfully to academic discourse during the rotation; leaves a memorable and favorable impression on the faculty.

Honors: Meets and often exceeds goals and objectives; performs better than most of his/her peers; demonstrates reliability and enthusiasm; interacts well with colleagues.

Satisfactory: Meets all learning objectives; demonstrates knowledge acquisition over the course of the rotation.

Unsatisfactory: Demonstrates lack of effort and initiative; is unreliable; fails to meet some or all learning objectives.

Curriculum Goals and Objectives

At the end of the 4-week pathology experience, the medical student should understand:

  • The role of informatics in delivering and improving healthcare
  • The varied and interesting career opportunities within the field of Pathology, and the area of Pathology Informatics
  • Concepts related to Pathology information systems
  • Concepts related to Pathology imaging and image analysis technologies
  • The current state of informatics as it applies to the management and interpretation of molecular studies, and the future impact of genomic testing on Pathology Informatics

How to Apply

Applicants potentially interested in the clinical clerkship (medical student elective rotation) in informatics at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) should contact Veronica Klepeis, MD, PhD, at vklepeis@mgh.harvard.edu or 617-643-7903 in the MGH Pathology Department. While actual registration is primarily through the HMS Registrar's office, prior contact with the Mass General Pathology Department is advised to ensure the clerkship experience, if available, would be appropriate for the applicant.