IU School of Medicine



The goal of this elective is to improve the student's understanding of the different aspects of both clinical and anatomical pathology. The hope is that with familiarization and a better understanding of common clinical and anatomical pathology tests, the student will be able improve their patient care. To this end, the student will spend most of their time rotating through the clinical pathology departments such as chemistry, microbiology, hematology, and blood bank. The student will learn the different tests that each department performs, how to interpret the results, and how best to utilize the tests as a clinician. A few days will also be spent rotating through different anatomical pathology areas such as surgical pathology and cytopathology with the goal to learn how pathology specimens such as biopsies, cervical cytology samples, and urine samples are processed and interpreted. The rotation will be a mixture of didactic sessions, lectures, and observation. Students will spend their time learning from pathology residents, faculty members, and clinical laboratory professions such as histotechnologists, microbiologists, and cytotechnologists. Students interested in surgical specialties should enroll in the "Pathology for the Surgical Specialties" elective, also offered by Dr. Inman

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Hollyn Mangione (hmangion@iupui.edu)

Director: Ashley Inman, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: IU Health Pathology Laboratory (Indianapolis)

Learning Objectives

  • 1) Explain the proper utilization and procedure of common chemistry and hematology tests (PC5)
  • 2) Discuss how reference ranges are determined for laboratory tests and why they differ for different facilities) Explain how this should affect clinical decisions (PC3)
  • 3) Describe specific blood products, antibody studies, donor recruitment, and proper utilization of blood products) (MK4)
  • 4) Describe how a positive microbiology culture is processed) Recognize the possible routes of contamination and the effect on the final culture results) Compare the different types of media, and recognize situations when a special media may need to be used by Microbiology based on clinical suspicions (PC5)
  • 5) Explain how a surgical pathology or cytology specimen is processed and the steps to render a final diagnosis including ancillary studies (PC5)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form; (Observation by departmental faculty and residents and discussion of progress toward learning objectives with course director. At the end of the elective the student will undergo a reflective exercise in which they are asked to describe a particular test or blood product and what they learned that will improve the way they manage their patients. This can be done either by a brief written essay or discussion with the course director, depending on the student's preference. The student must complete this exercise in order to pass the course).

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year; completion of Medicine clerkship

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 30-40

Time Distribution: 85% Laboratory; 10% Lecture/Seminar; 5% Clinical

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Hollyn Mangione (hmangion@iupui.edu) The student will spend the majority of their time at the main Indiana University Health Pathology Laboratory. However, the student will also spend time at the the Indiana Blood Center. The student will also have the option observe in the frozen section room. Please email the course director, Ashley Inman, approximately 4 weeks before the start of the rotation. Your field of interest and any special requests should be included in this email. This will allow us to develop a schedule for the student based on their interests and goals for the elective. Maximum number of students per month is three. Under certain circumstances the course director may add students above the maximum. Interested students should contact the course director directly.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None