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Pathology Elective at NSLIJHS

Elective clinical clerkships in pathology are available to third and fourth year medical students to gain a greater understanding of a career in the field of pathology. This can be a 2 week or 4 week rotation and students may select a general surgical pathology rotation that provides an overview of several areas of pathology or they may select one of several subspecialty surgical pathology rotations that are being offered. During all of the rotations, the student will be an integral part of the pathology team – interacting with pathology residents and attending pathologists and participating in all lab activities and procedures. The student is expected to attend didactic sessions and case-based conferences, fulfill reading assignments, observe the performance of autopsies and participate in slide reviews. A special project may be assigned. A formal written evaluation for each student will be furnished to their medical school. Only applications submitted through the Visiting Students Application Service (VSAS) will be considered.

All electives are restricted to US allopathic or osteopathic medical students.

Department Contact

Cheryl Rubinfeld
Senior Administrative Manager
Assistant Professor, Department of  Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Hofstra North-Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
5 Dakota Drive
Lake Success, NY 11042
E-mail: crubinfe@nshs.edu
Phone: (516) 719-1155
Fax: (516) 224-8532

Pathology Courses


Autopsy Pathology Elective

The autopsy pathology elective is a four week rotation in which students will gain broad exposure to autopsy pathology. Students will shadow pathology residents on the autopsy rotation and participate in all facets of the autopsy, including: gross dissection, microscopic review, cause of death certification and clinical-pathologic correlation. Students will also participate in gross/autopsy conference, as well as resident didactic lectures, and case conferences.

Suggested reading: Robbins, Pathologic Basis of Disease, 8th Edition.

Capacity: One student per rotation


Cytogenetics and Molecular Cytogenetics Elective

The clerkship in cytogenetics and molecular cytogenetics is an excellent way to introduce medical students to this exciting field and for them to acquire knowledge about the genetic rearrangements associated with human disease, including chromosomal and genetic disorders, and cancer. The four week elective would consist of rotation through the prenatal, constitutional and postnatal sections of the laboratory covering all technical aspects and the principles behind them, as well as, the opportunity to perform case review with the Director and learn about the interpretation of results and their correlation with clinical, pathological and other laboratory data. There is also opportunity for them to participate in small research projects.

Suggested reading: The Cytogenetic Symposia (special order through AGT website), Dunn, Betty, 2nd edition, 2005, Association of Genetic Technologists


Urologic Pathology Elective

Students rotating during this two week urologic pathology elective will function at the level of a first year resident. They will be trained in gross and histological assessment of urologic pathology and become responsible for work-up and sign-out of their assigned cases under the supervision of faculty members and residents. There will be active correlation of the clinical, morphologic, and histologic findings with urologists and oncologists. The elective increases the student’s awareness and understanding of the pathologist’s role in patient management pertaining to urologic diseases. In addition, students participate in all urologic conference activities in the division.

Suggested reading: Urologic Pathology, by Robert O Petersen, Isabell A Sesterhenn and Charles J Davis, 2006 (3rd ed), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


Breast Pathology Elective

The student elective in Breast pathology may be a two or four weeks rotation. The health system has an active breast service with a high volume of both biopsies and major resections of breast lesions. During this rotation the student will have the opportunity to:

  1. Participate in the evaluation and grossing of specimens of breast tissues
  2. Participate in the evaluation of the histologic sections derived from these specimens
  3. Attend a system wide interdisciplinary meeting held monthly involving breast surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and pathologists
  4. Participate in clinicopathologic and case related studies
  5. Will have an opportunity to review various prognostic markers and molecular tests for breast cancers, and correlate them with pathologic findings


Dermatopathology Elective

This 4 week clerkship is geared to 4th medical students who are interested in skin disease (dermatology and dermatopathology). Students in this clerkship will be able to shadow a dermatology resident for inpatient consultationi in the hospital (both NSUH and LIJMC) and outpatient dermatology clinics, follow-up and review the histopathology of skin biopsies with the dermatopathologist. In addition, there are opportunities to participate in academic activities.

Suggesting readings: A Clinical Atlas of 101 Common Skin Diseases with Histopathologic Correlation, SECOND EDITION, by A. Bernard Ackerman, M.D., Helmut Kerl, M.D., Jorge Sánchez, M.D., et al


Hematopathology Elective

An elective in hematopathology is available for four weeks. During the student’s rotation in Hematopathology, he/she will be exposed to bone marrow and lymph node histomorphologic evaluation. Major classification schemes of lymphomas and marrow disorders including leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms will be discussed. When evaluating marrow and lymph node biopsies the student will have exposure to microscopic analysis including morphologic evaluation and immunohistochemistry as well as flow cytometric analysis. Teaching sets are available for study. Research projects are available for interested students.

Suggested reading material: WHO classification of Tumours of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues. Ed: Steven Swerdlow, Elias Campo, Nancy Lee Harris et al. 4th edition, Lyon, 2008.


Molecular Pathology Elective

The Division of Molecular Pathology offers students either a two or four week rotation that can be tailored to the individual student’s background and experience. The laboratory performs a wide range of both genetic testing and oncology molecular diagnostics. Opportunities include; hands on experience with the assays, clinical consultations, quality program integration and execution, didactic lectures, case studies etc. Congruent with the students experience and interests, advanced projects (assay development / validation and research projects) can be undertaken.

Recommended reading: Molecular Genetic Pathology 2nd Edition. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ


Pediatric Pathology Elective

The Division of Pediatric Pathology offers students a two or four week clerkship. The student will be involved in all aspects of pediatric pathology as they unfold on a daily basis within the Division. The exciting and varied daily work includes pediatric surgical pathology, intra-operative frozen section consultations, and pediatric autopsy pathology, as well as perinatal and placental pathology. Students will also attend pediatric pathology conferences and tumor boards at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. The student will be expected to acquire a working knowledge of some common pediatric diseases and perinatal disorders.

Suggested reading materials: Maitra A. Diseases of infancy and childhood. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, eds. Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:447-486

Students will also be directed to relevant reading materials relating to the cases they encounter during their rotation.


Surgical Pathology Elective

The surgical pathology elective is a four week rotation in which students will gain broad exposure to surgical pathology. This elective consists of one week of breast pathology, one week of gastrointestinal pathology, one week of gynecologic pathology and a 4th week of genitourinary pathology. Students will also gain exposure to frozen sections, cytopathology and autopsy pathology. Opportunities include: supervised grossing experience, signout of cases with an attending pathologist, didactic lectures, and case conferences.

Recommended reading: Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease, 8th Edition.

Capacity: One student per rotation


Thoracic Pathology Elective

Thoracic Pathology is a four week rotation in which students will gain an understanding of neoplastic and medical lung disease. Opportunities include: supervised grossing experience, signout of cases with an attending pathologist, attendance at the weekly Multidisciplinary Lung Tumor Board, didactic lectures, and case studies.

Recommended reading: Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease Ch 15 The Lung, 8th Edition, as well as selected journal articles that will be provided at the initiation of the elective.

Capacity: One student per month


GI/Liver/Pancreas Elective

Gastrointestinal services of the Department of pathology offers a 2 or 4 week clerkship in gastrointestinal /liver/pancreatobilliary pathology. The student will be paired with the pathology resident and he/she will function as a first year resident. The student will be involved in all aspect of intraoperative consultation, grossing and histologic assessment of gastrointestinal / liver / pancretaobilliary pathologic specimens under the direct supervision of the rotating resident and assigned attending pathologist. The student will be actively involved in intra-operative consultation and communication with the surgeon and preview histologic slides of all grossed specimens. The student will gain an understanding of the importance of endoscopic and radiologic correlations, as well as ancillary studies such as immunohistochemistry in arriving at a final diagnosis. Also, the student will have the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary conferences.for thetreatment of patients with gastrointestinal oncologic disorders.


Gynecologic Pathology Elective

During this 2 or 4 week elective, 4th year medical students will gain an understanding of the most common diseases of the female genital tract, and more importantly, the pathologist’s role in patient management. Students will function at the level of a first year resident and will be trained in gross and histological assessment of major female organs including uterus and ovaries. They will be responsible for work-up and sign-out of their assigned cases under the supervision of faculty members and residents and will be required to attend system-wide interdisciplinary meetings held twice a month that are attended by gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists. Opportunities will be offered to participate in clinical oriented research.

Suggested reading: Blaustein’s Pathology of the Female Genital Tract by Robert Kurman, Lora Hedrick Ellenson, and Brigitte Ronnett, 2010 (6rd ed), Springer


Cytopathology Elective

The Cytopathology Clerkship consists of a 2 week rotation during which the student will:

  1. Participate in Fine Needle Aspiration rapid onsite assessment of adequacy
  2. Attend daily microscopic review session
  3. Shadow Cytopathologists and Fellow during sign out
  4. Acquire the basic knowledge of normal and abnormal Pap Test

Suggested reading: Richard M. DeMay Art and Science of Cytopathology, ASCP press, 1996


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