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. However, this rotation has been designed for students pursuing a career in a surgical specialty. Therefore, there will be an emphasis on aspects of anatomical pathology. The hope is that with familiarization and a better understanding of different clinical and anatomical pathology tests, the student will be able improve their patient care. To this end, the student will learn how a surgical specimen is processed and the steps that are taken to render a final diagnosis. They will also spend time learning frozen section and autopsy techniques. Time will additionally be spent rotating through the chemistry, microbiology, and blood bank departments. 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. 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 and cytotechnologists. Students not interested in surgical specialites are encouraged to enroll in "Pathology for Non-Pathologists", 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) Describe proper handling of a surgical specimen including proper labeling, patient information/history, etc) Compare the different fixatives used for surgical specimens and describe their proper use) Explain when a specimen should be submitted as fresh tissue to Pathology (PC5)
  • 2) Explain how a surgical specimen is grossed, processed, and the steps to render a final diagnosis (PC3)
  • 3) Explain the different types of ancillary studies used for surgical pathology specimens (i)e) immunohistochemistry, molecular studies), how they are performed, and how they are best utilized (PC3)
  • 4) Describe frozen section specimen handling, processing, and diagnostics) Identify proper utilization and limitations of frozen sections (PC5)
  • 5) Explain proper utilization of clinical laboratory tests such as microbiology studies and chemistry studies (PC3)
  • 6) Describe specific blood products, antibody studies, donor recruitment, and proper utilization of blood products (MK4)


  • 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 Surgery 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, some time will be spent in the frozen section room at University Hospital and the Indiana Blood Center. 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