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POST DATE 8/11/2016
END DATE 1/18/2017

Massachusetts General Hospital(MGH) Boston, MA

Boston, MA
AJE Ref #
Job Classification
Full Time
Job Type
Company Ref #
Mid-Career (2 - 15 years)
Bachelors Degree


Assist the pathologist in the preparation of human surgical specimens and the performance of postmortem examinations. Also assists in examining and collecting tissues for various other needs including controls in the laboratory, testing of new methodologies, and for pathology conferences or teaching. Responsible for maintaining records of tissue and other QA / QC parameters.

Dictates gross description and complete dissection of surgical specimens (i.e. type, size, weight, color and anatomical characteristics) under the supervision of the pathologist or pathology resident.

Selects and submits tissue sections for microscopic examination. Understands the appropriate sections necessary for staging tumors, margin evaluation, and lymph node evaluation. Understands the methodology of submitting tissue to obtain optimum slides. Follows protocol to ensure proper orientation of the specimen at embedding (labeling cassette, orienting tissue in cassette, use of ribbons).

Assists in collecting and submitting tissue for a variety of needs, including controls, teaching, research, tissue/tumor banking, other as the need arises.

Organizes workflow in the surgical pathology lab by distributing work/specimens to other PAs and to residents, ensuring that specimens are triaged appropriately and in a timely manner.

Oversees specimen storage in the surgical pathology area, keeps records and discards specimens as necessary.

Develops, updates, and maintains procedure, safety and infection control manuals. Ensures that all appropriate procedures are followed in the surgical grossing area. Uses appropriate personal protective equipment and monitors work area for appropriate use of PPE by others.

Is able to perform all duties of the technical staff as needed, including accessioning, grossing of small biopsies, printing of cassettes, specimen discard.

Communicates effectively with histotechnologists as necessary to ensure adequate embedding or sectioning of submitted microscopic sections, troubleshoot cassette errors (duplicates, missing blocks).

Maintains awareness of specimen containers and cassettes, including responsibility for following them through the decal process, and is responsible for the disposition of the specimen at all times.

May be called on to perform frozen sections, including gross description, selection of sections, cutting and staining.

May be called on to assist in the orientation or gross handling of specimens in the frozen section lab.

Submits tissue for electron microscopy. Submits frozen tissue for fluorescent in situ hybridization. Is familiar with protocols and requisitions to submit special techniques.

Ensures that proper and legal authorization has been obtained to perform a postmortem examination.

Arranges and coordinates the patients chart and other pertinent data for review with the pathologist.

Performs autopsy including external examination, in situ organ inspection, evisceration, dissection and dictation or recording of data. Is aware of protocols to ensure that embalming can be done properly (tying off of essential vessels).

Obtains biological specimens for analysis (blood cultures, viral cultures, toxicological materials, etc.)

Summarizes clinical history and assists the pathologist in preparation of the preliminary anatomic diagnosis.

Selects and submits tissue sections for microscopic examination, including special techniques if necessary.

Assures proper restoration of the body for acceptable release to funeral director, indicating any biohazards such as contagious diseases, radioactive implants, etc. which may be present.

Supervises dissection of tissues for special procedures such as research or teaching under the direction of the supervising pathologist and maintains records of tissues used for these purposes.


Trains the PA student and oversees student activities.

May assist pathology residents in orienting and grossing surgical pathology specimens.

Oversees work performed by the technical staff in the surgical grossing areas, answers inquiries of the surgical pathology small grossing staff and assists them in their work.


May order and inventory supplies and equipment as needed for surgical dissection.

Various other duties as assigned such as quality control reviews or review of OR schedule.

May interview PA candidates and possibly other employees in the surgical pathology laboratory.

Knowledge of human anatomy and medical terminology. Knowledge of how to approach wide variety of human organs in order to stage tumors. Knowledge of basic human pathology and the relevance of histologic evaluation in the evaluation of these diseases.

Knowledge of Universal Precautions and principles of laboratory safety.
Working knowledge of histology techniques.
Must be able to read / write English, understand Procedure manuals, Universal Precautions, Safety, and Chemical Hygiene Plan Manuals.

Effective interpersonal and communication skills in person, over the telephone, through e-mail, and via other communication devices.

Must be able to speak clearly and work effectively with a dictation system.
Attentive to detail, must be precise in performing technical tasks in order to accurately produce a section code, keep track of cassettes.
Ability to follow established technical and clerical procedures.
Must have manual dexterity and motor coordination, able to manipulate sharp instruments.
Must be able to lift approximately 20 pounds.

Registration by the American Association of Pathologists Assistants is desirable.

Minimum of a Baccalaureate degree, a Masters degree in Health Science is preferred.

Must have completed a course of study to be eligible to take the registry exam by AAPA.

Two years of experience preferred

Massachusetts General Hospital is an Equal Opportunity Employer. By embracing diverse skills, perspectives and ideas, we choose to lead. Applications from protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged.