Pathology Student Fellowship

The Pathology Student Fellowship is a year long program, only open to OHSU students.

Student fellows in Pathology 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. Student fellows participate in autopsy prosection, frozen section preparation, dissection of surgical pathology specimens. Student fellows preview microscopic slides from their cases and manage them up until faculty approval of final Pathology report. Student fellows present autopsy cases and Departmental and hospital conferences, attend Departmental lectures and Grand Rounds, and are encouraged to participate in laboratory teaching.

There is an informational meeting in late summer (announced during second year lectures, and in email), where you will also meet current and former student fellows. Interested students sign up to visit the department, followed by an "interview" meeting shortly thereafter. In general, four student fellows are selected from each second year class: two students to take the fellowship after their second year (immediately following foundations-pre-clinical), and two to join the Department after the first year of clinical experiences.


Do I get paid?

Yes, there is modest stipend during the student fellowship year, and a book allowance.

What about my loans?

Loans are deferred; however, there may be some paperwork involved.

What electives can I do?

Any of the standard Pathology Department electives or resident rotations are available as electives. These include Neuropathology, Cytology, Renal Pathology, Hematopathology, Cytogenetics, Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine, research, etc. However, student fellows have designed their own electives, including Pathology experiences off-hill, electives in other Departments, etc.

Are there research opportunities?

Yes. Recently, student fellows have been involved in a variety of research, mostly related to ongoing projects in the Department, or faculty interests. Opportunities may also arise to write up particularly interesting autopsy or surgical pathology cases.

What are the hours like?

This varies by rotation. Surgical Pathology at OHSU has the longest hours. Frozen sections start at 7:30 AM (every third day). Quittin’ time depends on the workload. VA and Autopsy have shorter hours.

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 student fees, including those for student health insurance, during the one-year fellowship. A $600 educational allowance is provided for eligible educational expenses, and additional financial support for travel expenses may be provided by the department for student fellows who present at national conferences.

When does student fellowship start and end?

The student fellowship generally coincident with Transition to Clerkships, and ends before Transition to Clerkships in the next academic year .

Who should consider the Pathology student fellowship?

Because the individual gains extensive experience in recognizing and understanding disease processes in all systems, the program is valuable to future training in basically all areas of clinical medicine.

Whom do I contact for more information or questions?

Megan Troxell (, 503 418-1770, pager 14908)

Donald Houghton (, 503-494-6127)

Mike Cascio (, 503-494-6782)

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

Quotes from former OHSU Pathology student fellows:

"I was treated with a great deal of respect, and felt that my work and my opinion mattered. The fellowship gave me the vanishingly rare opportunity to step outside the hierarchy of medicine, where medical students are often "scutted out" for busy work, and to enter an environment where I was given an enormous amount of responsibility and trust."

"I initially saw the path year as an opportunity to learn from some of my favorite teachers in the MS1 & MS2 curriculum. The year itself was a phenomenal, hands-on, feet-wet experience with all the rewarding responsibility, case-based learning, self-questioning, and eventual confidence-building that one would expect from the first year of residency. I developed a deeper and more nuanced understanding of infectious & inflammatory conditions, oncologic staging & clinically significant molecular aberrations, and the clinical impact of sensitivities and specificities of some lab tests."