Medical Students

On behalf of the Department of Pathology, welcome to the world of Pathology!

Within the medical school curriculum, the study of pathology has traditionally served as the bridge connecting the basic sciences and clinical medicine.  Comprehensive knowledge of pathology (pathos - disease; ology - to study) is essential to understanding the wide spectrum of diseases that plague mankind.  The better we understand a disease in terms of etiology and mechanism, the more specific the diagnosis and treatment becomes.  Pathology is the foundation upon which the safe and effective practice of medicine is built.

The West Virginia University School of Medicine Pathology course (Pathology 801, Mechanisms of Human Disease) will guide you in establishing this foundation of knowledge.  Our course has the dual goals of preparing you to practice medicine as a third year medical student on the wards and clinics, as well as to be able to take and pass your standardized board examinations. The first part of the course focuses on General Pathology, or fundamental principles of disease, while the latter part of the course applies this foundation to a study of the pathology of each organ system. Our course is integrated with the other second year courses such that you will study the pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, and clinical aspects of a given organ system together in a coordinated manner. Material is taught through lectures, Team-Based Learning activities, and assigned reading. For each topic there are a series of Learning Objectives which students should use to organize their studying.

As a career, Pathology is a vibrant and evolving field. For those students who would like to explore a potential interest in furthering their training, we have several options. Our department offers a Post-Sophomore Fellowship for interested medical students who have completed their second year. We also welcome students who would like to do a Pathology rotation during their fourth year, or even simply shadow a pathologist during their free time. Our Pathology Interest Group meets several times a year and offers a chance to socialize and discuss the field of pathology with pathology faculty, trainees, and other medical students. Finally, should you decide to pursue a career in pathology, we offer a residency training program, as well as a hematopathology fellowship.

We look forward to working with you throughout the year and in the future!