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UTHSC College of Health Professions Adds New Pathologists’ Assistant Program


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Health Professions is proud to announce the addition of its newest degree program in pathology. As part of the Department of Diagnostic Health Sciences, the two-year Pathologists’ Assistant Master of Health Science (MHS) program will prepare students for the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) board of certification exam. Graduates of the program will be ready to meet the growing demand for qualified pathologists’ assistants in labs and facilities across the country.

Michael Weitzel, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM

Pathologists’ assistants play a critical role in the delivery of health care services in both surgical pathology and autopsy pathology. These highly skilled professionals perform hands-on dissection of tissue removed at surgery and assist pathologists during autopsies, making them key partners in assisting the pathologist to arrive at a pathologic diagnosis.

The Pathologists’ Assistant program at UTHSC is the first program of its kind in Tennessee and in the Mid-South. “I’m excited to be part of the Pathologists’ Assistant program at UTHSC. We have a unique opportunity here in Memphis to train the state’s new pathologists’ assistants, and we look forward to contributing to the quality of health care here in the state of Tennessee,” said the Program Director Michael Weitzel, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM.

Department of Diagnostic Health Sciences Chair Neale Chumbler, PhD, added, “I am thrilled to oversee this new, novel academic program. It will not only make important contributions to the workforce in the Mid-South and beyond, but will also provide students an opportunity to play an integral and special role in the delivery of high-quality health care.”  

Applications for the program open today and will continue through October 31, 2022. The first cohort of six students will begin classes in January 2023. The UTHSC Pathologists’ Assistant program received final THEC approval on July 28. The program is seeking national accreditation by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).