Our primary objective is to prepare students for their clinical years, scholarly achievement, and beyond. Instructors in the Pathology Department combine key aspects of pathobiology and applied pathology practice and integrate them into a dynamic curriculum that includes disease mechanisms and processes, organ system pathology, and diagnostic medicine and therapeutic pathology.  Pathology is a significant part of all 7 pre-clerkship modules of the USU medical school curriculum, where the majority of the teaching is in the laboratory setting.  The pathology curriculum is interdisciplinary and taught in innovative manner using integrated small group sessions, Team-Based-Learning, as well as lectures.

In addition to training medical students for well-rounded careers in the federal health services, we also instruct graduate students via advanced courses, laboratory rotations, and intensive laboratory experiences leading to doctoral degrees.



Pathology Elective and Selective

Course Objectives: The objective of the pathology clerkship and selective is to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and obtain a greater understanding of the scope of a pathologist’s duties in the hospital setting. The specialty of pathology is divided into anatomic and clinical pathology. Anatomic pathology can be classified by three broad areas including surgical pathology, cytopathology, and autopsy pathology. Surgical pathology is the gross and microscopic examination of surgical resections and biopsy samples including intraoperative frozen section. Surgical pathology is divided into subspecialties based on body site/tumor type. Cytopathology includes of examination pap smears, needle aspirates, brushings, and fluid collection to provide minimally invasive diagnoses. Autopsy pathology is the examination of the deceased to clarify the physiologic derangements that caused death for the purposes of general medical knowledge (hospital autopsies) or medicolegal purposes (forensic autopsies). Clinical pathology includes lab medicine as well as oversight and administration of patient laboratories. It includes areas such as transfusion medicine (blood bank), hematology and coagulation, clinical chemistry, and microbiology. In addition to exploring a broad cross section of the pathology specialty, students will be expected to attend intradepartmental conferences (interesting case conferences) and interdepartmental conferences (tumor board).

Students interested in pursuing pathology as a career would benefit from a rotation in pathology at one of the primary sites listed below that maintain active pathology residency. The rotation should be designed to gain experiences in both anatomic and clinical pathology. Students not interested in a career in pathology, but interested in an overview of laboratory medicine would benefit from a rotation at one of the teachings hospitals with their time divided between anatomic and clinical pathology.

Additionally, students may seek to tailor a rotation in pathology around their particular specialty of interest. For example, students interested in:

  • Orthopedic surgery could study bone pathology at the Joint Pathology Center
  • General surgery could focus on anatomic pathology and transfusion medicine
  • Operational medicine could work with combat related death investigation at OAFME
  • Nephrology could examine renal biopsies at the JPC
  • Dermatology could focus on skin biopsies and the subspecialty of dermatopathology
  • Anesthesiology could focus on blood banking and transfusion medicine

Objectives: Students and Clerkship director design a clerkship from the following pathology subspecialties:

  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Surgical Pathology, frozen section diagnosis & immunochemistry
  • Cytopathology with fine needle aspiration
  • Autopsy Pathology (Medical and Forensic)
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Clinical Lab Medicine
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Hematopathology/coagulation
  • Blood bank

Other subspecialties such as dermatopathology, hematopathology, breast pathology, gyn pathology, urologic pathology, neuropathology, pediatric pathology, and more. Please contact the Pathology Dept Clerkship Coordinator for specifics.


Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, MD

San Antonio Military Medical Center, TX

Madigan Army Medical Center, WA

Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA

Womack Army Medical center, NC

Additional military and civilian sites may be available upon request.

Comments: Department approval is required prior to registering for any Pathology clerkship. Please contact the USUHS pathology department to confirm available space. A 114 Form is required for any non-residency site or civilian site.

Rotations in pathology for medical students can be scheduled at any of our larger medical centers with our students participating in pathology rotations not only across America, but in Europe as well.  Custom rotations can be designed for fourth year students.


Dr. Samuel L. Grindstaff, LTC MC USA, Clerkship Coordinator



Dr. Danielle D. Ambrosio, Maj MC USAF, Clerkship Coordinator



Dr. Barbara Knollmann-Ritschel, CAPT,MC, USN,



Jia Yuan, Program Administrator


Phone Number: 301-295-3460


Rinelle Hemphill, Program Specialist

Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

301-295-1571 (office)

301-221-1253 (work mobile)

Rinelle.J.Hemphill.civ@mail.mil(link sends e-mail)