The department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine strives to prepare junior medical students for their clinical years by building on their knowledge of the basic sciences. The department is responsible for teaching more pre-clinical course hours than any other department at UTHealth Medical School. The department runs the histology (MSI), immunology (MSI), and pathology and laboratory medicine (MSII) courses , and several faculty members also participate in clinical applications (MSI) and problem-based learning (MSII). The subject matter covered is integrated into the first- and second-year curriculum in a systems-based manner, which enhances students’ understanding of the various disease processes. The courses include didactic lectures as well as laboratories featuring illustrative material and clinicopathological correlation.
Electives are strongly encouraged for individuals considering careers in pathology and laboratory medicine; however, they are also beneficial for students entering surgical and general medical specialties. Formal month-long electives are available to fourth-year students in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology. Both are designed to provide exposure to the daily activities of the department by having students rotate through the different subsections and attend teaching conferences. The anatomic pathology elective encompasses autopsy pathology, surgical pathology, and cytopathology. The clinical pathology elective includes hematopathology/coagulation, microbiology, chemistry, immunopathology, and transfusion medicine/blood banking. Students may also spend a month at the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office to witness the practice of forensic pathology, or they may arrange to participate in basic or clinical research with individual faculty members.