What is a Pathologists' Assistant?

A student working in a lab

Pathologists’ Assistants (PAs) are highly trained health professionals who work under the supervision of a medically-qualified pathologist providing a broad range of services in anatomic pathology. Many of their duties are those previously performed by pathologists. The extra technical skills brought to the laboratory by the PAs standardize and enhance the overall quality in the practice of anatomic pathology. The decreased time pathologists spend on more routine tasks enables them to maximize their time spent on more complex problems and increase the technical repertoire of the laboratory. The PA assumes major responsibility for the initial examination and dissection of all surgically removed tissues and, to a variable extent, for the dissection of bodies during post-mortem examination.