Clinical Electives Program: Pathology

Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Sessions. Four- or Eight-Week Session
Note: we do not accept students in July.

Rotation Coordinator:
Armando Filie, MD

Rotation Description
The Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites medical students to participate in a four- to eight-week rotation in anatomic pathology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center (CC). The CC is the site of intramural clinical research for the NIH. Pathological material received for review is derived from patients admitted to NIH clinical protocols from more than 15 Institutes or Centers. In addition, the staff of the Laboratory of Pathology receives more than 3,000 cases in consultation each year, resulting in a rich and diversified exposure to the practice of anatomic pathology. The philosophy of the training program is to provide broad and in-depth exposure to the subject matter of anatomic pathology, with an emphasis on clinical correlation, relationships to disease mechanisms, and exposure to investigational opportunities. Each case under study is viewed in the context of (1) the individual patient's clinical course, (2) strong personal interactions with the clinicians caring for the patient, and (3) the general relevance to disease pathophysiology and investigational questions. Medical students rotate through all of the major diagnostic service areas, including surgical pathology, cytopathology, and post-mortem pathology. The student joins a consulting team comprised of a resident and senior staff pathologist. The primary route for the student to acquire knowledge and gain feedback on performance is direct one-on-one interactions with the staff. The formal aspects of the educational experience include systematic staff instruction in the categorical topics of anatomic pathology and supplementation of case material by twice-weekly teaching conferences and study sets. Numerous clinical rounds and seminars provide for exchange of information with patient care physicians, and exposure to ongoing research at the NIH. In addition to gaining knowledge about the practice of pathology in an academic setting, and improving diagnostic skills, the student will learn to use and appreciate new molecular diagnostic techniques, which will play an ever-increasing role in the future of pathology.

Rotation Objectives

  • Prepare trainees to deliver state-of-the-art diagnostic and consultative services in the field of anatomic pathology.
  • Introduce trainees to research in pathology and cancer biology, and to inspire them to pursue a lifelong career of academic inquiry.

Selection of Applicants
One student per rotation/session.


  • Armando Filie, MD, Chief, Laboratory of Pathology
  • Markku Miettinen, MD
  • Elaine S. Jaffe, MD
  • David E. Kleiner, MD, PhD
  • Maria N. Merino, MD
  • Martha Quezado, MD
  • Richard (Chyi-Chia) Lee, MD, PhD
  • Stefania Pittaluga, MD, PhD
  • Mark Raffeld, MD
  • Maryalice Stetler-Stevenson, PhD, MD
  • Maria Tsokos, MD
  • Diane Arthur, MD
  • Susan Mackem, MD, PhD
  • David Levens, MD, PhD
  • Constance Yuan, MD, PhD
  • David Roberts, PhD
  • Svetlana D. Pack, PhD
  • Frederic Barr, MD, PhD

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This page last updated on 07/06/2023

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