The mission of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine Pathology Scholars Program is to provide medical students with a uniquely immersive and hands-on experience in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology for students interested in the field. Students will personally aid in dissection during forensic autopsy and interpretation of GI biopsies. They will also hone their skill in interpreting the histology of various organ systems. In doing so, they will gain valuable insight into an often overlooked, yet incredibly important and fulfilling medical specialty.

Program Requirements

The Pathology Scholars Program will be open to students during any year of study (M1-M4). Pathology is a field that many students discover late in their education, so allowing students from all academic years to participate will allow both early discovery and later refinement of student’s interest in the field. This program may also be beneficial to students interested in Radiology, Internal Medicine, and any surgical sub-specialty.

Curriculum Overview

This program will build on anatomic and histological knowledge gained from the first-year anatomy course. It will offer more advanced study of histology and anatomy for interested students through an introduction to Surgical and Forensic Pathology. It will also build on knowledge gained from the second-year hematology block through the opportunity for immersion in hematopathology.

Program Objective

Student outcomes will be measured as follows: 

  • Students will learn basic interpretation of the histology of each major organ system. This outcome will be evaluated via a) self-reported completion of 13 online modules and b) a signature from a relevant faculty member that signifies completion of their shadowing requirement. 

  • Students will gain specific knowledge in a Pathology topic of their choosing, which will be presented as a five-slide PowerPoint presentation capstone project. These projects will be judged by the Pathology Scholars Program leadership team and awards will be presented. Students will also gain targeted Pathology knowledge through the completion of an elective shadowing experience of their choice. 

  • Students will have independent, hands-on experience in Forensic Pathology by a) Observing one (1) autopsy and aiding in organ dissection, b) Interpretation of five (5) GI biopsies, and c) Interpretation of 5 peripheral blood smears. These outcomes will be assessed via faculty signature on a provided form that will be submitted to the Pathology Scholars Program leadership team.  

What are the hours and/or events/lectures required for participation? 

Completion of (13) Online educational modules – A total of 14 hours 
Completion of (3) Shadowing experiences – Total 6 hours  
Completion of (3) Hands-on activities – Total 3 hours 
Completion of (1) Elective event/activity – Total 2 hour  
Completion of (1) Capstone Project – Total 5 hours

What is the time to completion of the certificate/ scholar program?

Students must complete all requirements and submit their capstone project within one year of enrollment in the certificate program. The estimated time to completion is approximately 30 hours. 

Program Contacts

Interested in learning more or have additional questions? Please contact the Program Director, Mark Giffen, DO

Student Leaders

Benjamin Highland, MD 2024

Caleb Bercu, MD 2024

Stephanie Wang, MD 2024

Additional Information about the Student Interest Group