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Pathology Education

Medical Education Building

The UC San Diego Department of Pathology is home to a number of diverse and exciting educational programs that serve the Health Sciences.

Undergraduate Medical Education

Core Curriculum

Pathology faculty are prominent contributors to the UC San Diego School of Medicine Integrated Science Curriculum. This new pre-clerkship curriculum was inaugurated for the School of Medicine class that matriculated in the Fall of 2010. Pathology faculty teach in the blocks of the curriculum and also serve as facilitators of problem-based learning sessions. Select Pathology faculty also serve as thread directors (pathology and histology) and as block leaders (immunology) for the curriculum.

Elective Courses

Pathology faculty participate in the following Pathology pre-clerkship elective courses for first and second-year medical students: Pre-Clerkship Experience in Laboratory Medicine (PATH 216) and Practical Histopathology in Mouse Models of Human Disease - Guides to Phenotyping the Genetically Altered Mouse (PATH 234). For third-year medical students, two-week intensive experiences ("Selectives") are available in Surgical Pathology (UC San Diego Medical Center) (PATH 410), Anatomic Pathology (Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System) (PATH 411), and Ophthalmic Pathology (PATH 412). For fourth-year medical students, a rich array of Pathology clinical clerkships (four-weeks each) is available in Autopsy Pathology, Cytopathology, Forensic Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Ophthalmic Pathology, Pediatric Pathology, and Surgical Pathology.

Graduate Education

Pathology faculty are highly engaged in graduate-student education. The Department of Pathology offers the following elective course for graduate students through the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program: Human Genetics and Genomics: Underpinnings of Human Disease (BIOM 252).

Pharmacy Curriculum

Pathology faculty direct the following UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) courses: Human Disease (SPPS 215) and Laboratory Medicine (SPPS 216). This school, which opened in 2002, has rapidly risen in stature to become one of the top pharmacy schools in the nation, and pharmacy students also participate in a majority of the second-year medical school courses.

Ethics Education

The Pathology department is the academic home for the UC San Diego Research Ethics Program. The Program provides education in research ethics and medical ethics in a wide variety of forums for: graduate students in the Molecular Pathology track of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program; residents in Pathology; medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and staff in the Health Sciences; and all members of the University's research community. Primary educational settings include: Ethics in Scientific Research (BIOM/PHAR 219), Scientific Ethics (SOMI 226), Ethics and Survival Skills in Academia (PATH 241), Scientific Integrity (an asynchronous, online course), CREST, NCLAM, Health Law Program, Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Regulatory Affairs Essentials Certificate (UC San Diego Extension), Biomedical Ethics Seminar Series, Tough Cases Seminar Series, the Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Practice of Medicine (POM) components of the medical school curriculum, Workshops to train faculty in teaching of research ethics, and a Resources Website used nationally and internationally by teachers of research ethics.

Faculty Recognition for Teaching

With their breadth and depth of teaching, it is not surprising that Pathology faculty are consistently honored with School-wide awards such as the Kaiser Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Campus-Wide Distinguished Teaching Award. In fact, eight Pathology faculty thus far have received Campus-Wide Distinguished Teaching Award, UC San Diego's highest honor for teaching: Stephen Baird, Lawrence Hansen, Katsumi Miyai, Henry Powell, Sharon Reed, Ann Tipps, Noel Weidner, and Paul Wolf.

Medical Student Pathology Awards

The Department of Pathology offers several awards for medical students who excel in Pathology.

The Graduating Medical Student Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pathology recognizes a graduating medical student who has achieved outstanding performance in Pathology-related courses, clerkships, electives, and/or selectives as evidenced by written evaluations, grades, and/or test scores AND who has demonstrated interest in Pathology (e.g., completing a Pathology research project, planning to pursue Pathology residency or fellowship, etc.). The award consists of a $1,000 check and recognition on a perpetual plaque in the Department of Pathology.

The Department of Pathology also offers up to four medical student travel awards per year (two in the first six months of the calendar year and two in the second six months of the calendar year). Each award may be up to $750 and must be applied towards travel, lodging, and registration for a scientific/medical meeting at which the student will present his/her work. Medical students in good-standing who have performed a project in the Department of Pathology are eligible to apply. The application consists of a copy of the abstract (with student as first author), a copy of the acceptance letter from the organization sponsoring the meeting, a statement by the student (250 words or less) indicating how the project and attendance at the meeting will advance his/her career, and a short letter of support by the Pathology faculty member project advisor describing the role of the student in the project and including a statement about the need for funding. These materials should be submitted as one PDF file to the Department of Pathology Vice Chair for Education via and at least 60 days prior to the proposed travel. Applications will be reviewed expeditiously. Reimbursement will require original receipts and a one-page summary of the student's experience at the meeting with emphasis on presentation of the project. There is a limit of one meeting per student per year.

Pathology Interest Group for Medical Students

A Pathology Interest Group is available for all medical students who have potential interest in Pathology as a career. These noon-time luncheon meetings occur four to five times per year and feature a presentation by one or more Pathology faculty and/or residents about topics in Pathology. Announcements of meetings occur via e-mails and flyers.

Pathology Residency Program

Annually, about 1.5% (the national mean) of UC San Diego graduating medical students choose Pathology as a career, and a number of UC San Diego medical students are accepted into the UC San Diego Pathology Residency Program.

Serving as both a basic science and a clinical department in the UCSD Health Sciences, the Department of Pathology is unique in its diverse array of educational offerings.