Pathology Student Fellowship

The Pathology Student Fellowship is a 1-year program that is open only to OHSU students. Student fellows rotate through the autopsy and surgical pathology services at OHSU and the Portland VA hospital, and will have opportunities for research experience and electives. Pathology student fellows are fully integrated into the daily case work of the Pathology Department, working alongside residents, and working closely with faculty, often in a one-on-one setting. On the autopsy service, the student fellow is responsible for prosection and generation of a complete autopsy report, including clinicopathologic correlation. Interesting autopsy cases are presented at a weekly autopsy conference. On the surgical pathology service, fellows engage in intraoperative consultations, gross examination of surgical pathology specimens, and preview and review cases with faculty. Student fellows manage their cases independently with faculty guidance.  Protected time to attend pathology didactics and Departmental Grand Rounds is ensured.  Opportunities to participate in medical student teaching are available. 

An informational meeting is held during early summer where you will be able to meet current and former student fellows. After the informational meeting, interested students will arrange to spend time observing in the Department of Pathology followed by a brief interview session. In general, four student fellows are selected from each second year class: two students to start the fellowship in February after the preclinical science curriculum, and two start after the first year of clinical experiences.

Here's what pathology student fellows have said about the program:

“I was given incredible responsibility from day one, the ability to learn directly from attendings and the chance to reflect on the future”

“I leave with a strong desire to show the same kind of patience and willingness to share knowledge with others”

“I feel that I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my abilities and inspiration from others through their work ethic and enthusiasm”

“In addition to helping me decide on a specialty, the pathology year really rounded out my medical school experience”

“I met people who have helped me with advice and ideas about making some really tough (career) choices”

“Some days were long and hard, but they were always fun and interesting”


Do I get paid?

Yes. There is modest stipend during the student fellowship year as well as a $600 educational allowance.

What about my loans?

Students fellows continue to be registered with the School of Medicine as students during the program. Loan deferment is available through coordination with the Financial Aid office.

What electives can I take?

Any of the Department of Pathology electives or resident rotations are available as electives. These include Neuropathology, Cytology, Renal Pathology, Hematopathology, Cytogenetics, Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine. On occasion, student fellows have designed their own electives, including Pathology experiences off-hill, electives in other Departments, and research electives. Note that these are not SoM curricular electives, for credit toward graduation, which require payment of tuition.

Are there research opportunities?

Yes. Student fellows have been involved in a variety of research projects, mostly in the Department of Pathology. Opportunities to write up interesting autopsy or surgical pathology cases may also arise.

What are the hours like?

The workload and schedule varies by rotation. Surgical Pathology at OHSU is the busiest rotation and generally has the longest hours.  A typical day may start at 7 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. Rotations on the Autopsy service and at the VA typically have shorter hours.  Student fellows do not have call responsibilities.

What are the employment benefits?

Student fellows receive three weeks of vacation (15 business days) and are eligible for 15 days of paid sick leave. All student fellows receive a laptop to use during the fellowship.  The department pays the students fees, including those for health insurance and activity fees, during the fellowship. A $600 allowance is provided for eligible educational expenses.  Additional financial support for travel expenses may be provided for student fellows who present research at national conferences.

When does student fellowship start and end?

The student fellowship starts the week of Transition to Clerkships, and ends just before Transition to Clerkships the following academic year.

Who should consider the Pathology student fellowship?

Because the individual gains extensive experience in recognizing and understanding disease processes in all systems and the role of diagnostic pathology in clinical medicine, the program is valuable for those entering virtually any clinical specialty.

Whom do I contact for more information or questions?

Donald Houghton (, 503-494-6127)

Mike Cascio (, 503-494-6782)

For logistical or paperwork questions, contact Alexis Jaggers, Administrative Manager, 503 494-2313, .