IU School of Medicine



This elective will expose the student to pathology as practiced in a community hospital setting. The student will have brief exposure to all areas of the labs as well as anatomic pathology. Students will experience surgical pathology, cytopathology (including fine needle aspirates) and clinical pathology (hematopathology, transfusion medicine, clinical chemistry and microbiology). Fourth year medical students may participate in the surgical pathology and clinical pathology services at the Eskenazi Hospital Pathology Laboratory. This hospital is the county hospital for Marion County, Indiana with emphasis on the uninsured and otherwise vulnerable populations of Marion County, Indiana. Eskenazi Hospital is staffed by physicians of the Indiana University School of Medicine and provides a range of primary and specialty care services within a 315 bed inpatient hospital and 11 community health centers throughout Indianapolis. Hospital services include an adult Level I trauma center, an adult burn center, and adult oncology and surgery services. In this elective, the medical student will have broad exposure to surgical pathology and clinical pathology . The students time will include blocks of surgical pathology and clinical pathology including blood bank, clinical chemistry, and microbiology. Cytopathology experience is available if desired. (Autopsy pathology services are provided off site at the IU Health Pathology Laboratory and are not part of this elective. Automated hematology testing is performed at Eskenazi Hospital, but most hematopathology services are also off site.)

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Robert E. Emerson, MD (reemerso@iupui.edu)

Director: Robert Emerson, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: Eskenazi Health Services (Indianapolis)

Learning Objectives

  • 1) Demonstrate basic specimen collection, handling, fixation, dissection, sampling, processing, sectioning, and staining techniques (PC5)
  • 2) State the appropriate indications for frozen section and the process for specimen orientation, sectioning, and slide staining (PC5)
  • 3) Discuss H&E histology, being able to and recognize the site of origin of normal tissue (MK1)
  • 4) Interpret the most common histochemical and immunohistochemical stains (PC3)
  • 5) Identify the appropriate indications for their use (MK5)
  • 6) Describe the most common diseases for each organ/system that result in obtaining a surgical pathology specimen and Understand name the expected clinical presentation for these disorders (MK2)
  • 7) Discuss the expected histopathologic findings and criteria for histopathologic diagnosis for the most common disorders (MK3)
  • 8) Recognize the situations when obtaining additional clinical information is necessary and use the electronic medical record frequently to obtain this information (PBLI1)
  • 9) Explain the analytical principles of the tests performed most commonly in the chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and blood bank laboratories) The student is expected to observe laboratory testing at Eskenazi Hospital and become familiar with the various instruments and analytical methods) 10) Describe the use of laboratory testing for the detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of common diseases and any disorders that are seen with high frequency or uniquely at Eskenazi Hospital) Examples: maternal/fetal monitoring, clinical toxicology, burn treatment, etc) 11) Perform the common clinical pathology consultations seen in a general hospital) Examples: Blood transfusion reactions; antibody identification; electrophoresis of proteins, immunoglobulins, and hemoglobins; examination of peripheral blood smears; bone marrow and fluid examinations; infectious disease serologies)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form; (Clinical Observation; Observation, discussion with faculty. Their final project could be oral or written, so it will be assessed accordingly).

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 4th year status

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 100% Clinical

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Robert E. Emerson, MD (reemerso@iupui.edu) THIS COURSE REQUIRES 2 MONTHS NOTICE BEFORE START DATE TO DROP OR ADD.

Third Year Elective? No

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: Yes

Skills Description: Yes. The students observe and interact extensively with medical technologists, histotechnologists, and cytotechnologists on this elective.

Service Learning Included: None