MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Seven pathologists’ assistant (PA) students in the West Virginia University School of Medicine received the 2013 National Student Honor Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

The ASCP established the award to recognize students in the laboratory profession who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to community service and leadership activities. Through this award, ASCP wishes to acknowledge future leaders for the medical laboratory profession and to make others aware of the profession’s contributions.    

WVU’s recipients include Madison Peebles, Carla Cox, Jamie Braswell, Ryan Mudry, Leigha Watson, Nicole Wise, and Alejandra Meza.  

“More than 200 clinical laboratory students were recognized this year, and of those awards, only 20 went to pathologists’ assistant students. Having seven of our students represented among this elite group reflects well on WVU and our program,” Cheryl Germain, M.H.S., P.A., program director, said. “We’re so proud of our National Student Honor Award recipients. Thanks to the American Society of Clinical Pathology for this acknowledgement of our students.”   

The WVU Pathologists’ Assistant program was approved and founded in 2007, with the first class beginning in January 2008. The program is an intensive 24-month curriculum, culminating in a master’s degree in health science.  PA students are eligible to take the ASCP certification exam for Pathologists’ Assistants. WVU currently has a 100 percent first-time pass rate for all graduates taking the exam and a 100 percent job placement rate within one month of graduation.   

A pathologists’ assistant is a highly trained allied health professional who provides various services under the direction and supervision of a pathologist. Pathologists’ assistants interact with pathologists in a manner similar to physician’s assistants in surgical and medical practice, carrying out their duties under the direction of their physicians. PAs are academically and practically trained to provide accurate and timely processing of a variety of laboratory specimens, including the majority of pathological specimens. PAs are key to helping make a pathologic diagnosis, but it is the sole province of the pathologist to render a diagnosis.

According to the American Association of Pathologist Assistants, with increased pressure on healthcare systems to control costs, the demand for qualified pathologists’ assistants is growing every year.

Photo identifications: (left to right) Carla Cox, Jamie Braswell, Ryan Mudry, Leigha Watson, and Nicole Wise. Not pictured are Madison Peebles and Alejandra Meza.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
ji: 06-11-14