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College of
Health Sciences


As a fourth-year medical student, you can spend a four-week elective in Geisinger’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Geisinger Medical Center. If you have a specific academic interest, such as cytology or laboratory hematology, request it in advance so we may accommodate it. Alternatively, if you have the appropriate background and interest, and depending on availability of faculty, you may spend the whole month in a subspecialty area. You’ll be integrated into the daily services provided by the department, and will report to the designated section and faculty member daily.

Learn about our Pathology Residency.

Anatomic pathology

The board-certified pathologists of the Geisinger Medical Labs Anatomic Pathology Group provide diagnostic workup, prognostic information, pathogenetic insight and therapeutic direction for the best possible patient care. A group of pathologists covers each pathologic subspecialty: breast pathology, gynecologic pathology, cytopathology/fine needle aspiration biopsy, dermatopathology, gastrointestinal pathology, genitourinary pathology, head and neck pathology, hematopathology, liver pathology, neuropathology, renal pathology, soft tissue and bone pathology, thoracic pathology and thyroid pathology. This subspecialization allows for greater depth of experience, enhanced quality of care and improved patient safety. The department is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology.

Clinical pathology

The clinical laboratory’s services include hematopathology and coagulation consultations, diagnostic expertise and ongoing disease management support. The laboratories include blood bank services, immunology, hematology, microbiology, clinical chemistry, toxicology, therapeutic drug monitoring and molecular diagnostic tests. Professional staff, including physicians and PhD doctoral scientists, direct the clinical labs.

You’ll spend time in anatomic pathology and laboratory medicine and will be able to see what happens to a specimen from the time the ordering physician submits it for analysis until the results are obtained and interpreted. You’ll understand what goes into ensuring proper submission of specimens as well as their processing, testing and reporting and the impact of the report on the patient and subsequent treatment.

The goal is to understand the functioning of a pathology lab as well as the measures laboratories take to maintain a high standard of performance. Then, when you’re a physician, you’ll be able to order appropriate laboratory testing and have a definite plan to react, regardless of the result. Above all, this elective rotation should leave you with a deeper understanding of disease.


Specific educational goals will include:

  • Surgical pathology
  • Histology
  • Accreditation of the lab by state, federal and other bodies
  • Concept of “lean thinking”
  • Microscopy
  • Cytology
  • Pathology reports
  • Quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement
  • General clinical pathology
  • Coagulation
  • Microbiology
  • Transfusion service (blood bank)

Apply now

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Acceptance into the elective is by application only.

All applications must be submitted through Visiting Student Learning Opportunities™ (VSLO®).

Contact us

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Megan Longenberger 
Program Manager, Health Professions Education
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