ASCP Pathologist (PA ASCP): Navigating Certification, Career Advancement, and Continuing Education

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The healthcare providers who get certification from ASCP BOC in their pathology field are called ASCP pathologists.

What ASCP pathologist (PA ASCP) do:

  • All simple and complex tasks related to lab operation and offer anatomic pathology services
  • Diagnosis and treatment of disease
  • Help physician to treat the patients

The ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) BOC (Board of Certification) offers a special concentration on ASCP pathologist assistants to make them experts.

This is why it presents PA ASCP certificates for them.

The ASCP Board of Certification understands the position of pathologist assistant in the lab, this is why it has a wide vision to become gold standard worldwide for all lab field.

ASCP pathologist assistants are a vital pillar of healthcare, almost all work related to laboratory medicine is incomplete without them.

They help the physician reach the correct treatment by performing multiple lab tasks.

Here, you will get comprehensive information regarding ASCP pathologist assistants (PA ASCP), eligibility requirements, application fees, and much more.

Furthermore, you will also know the role of PA (ASCP) in the healthcare sector.

ASCP Certification: The Cornerstone for Pathology Career

The mission of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) is to add perfection to medical lab professionals’ credentials, especially pathologists, on behalf of patients around the globe.

Overview of ASCP Certification

All the certifications that the board offers are given below.

ASCP Certification for Specialist

  • PA (Pathologist Assistant)
  • SBB (Specialist in Molecular Biology)
  • SM (Specialist in Microbiology)
  • SH (Specialist in Hematology)
  • SCYM (Specialist in Cytometry)
  • SCT (Specialist in Cytology)
  • SC (Specialist in Chemistry)
  • SBB (Specialist in Blood Banking)

ASCP Certification for Technologist

  • MLS (Medical Laboratory Scientist)
  • MB (Technologist in Molecular Biology)
  • M (Technologist in Microbiology)
  • HTL (Histotechnologist)
  • H (Technologist in Hematology)
  • CT (Cytologist)
  • CG (Technologist in Cytogenetic)
  • CTGYN (International Gynecologic Cytologist)
  • C (Technologist in Chemistry)
  • BB (Technologist in Blood Banking)

ASCP Certification for Technician

  • PBT (Phlebotomy Technician)
  • HT (Histotechnician)
  • MLT (Medical Lab Technician)
  • MLA (Medical Lab Assistant)

ASCP Certification for Scientist

  • MLS (Medical Lab Scientist)

ASCP Diplomate Certification

  • DMLI (Diplomate in Medical Laboratory Immunology)
  • DLM (Diplomate is Laboratory Management)

Benefits of ASCP Certification for Pathologist

The board credentials have a lot of advantages for ASCP pathologists that improve their life in all aspects.

Better Job Opportunities

With ASCP credentials, pathologists get better job prospects.

They can perform their duty worldwide in any hospital, research center, or lab.

Dual Salaries

With the blessing of ASCP certification, their chances of getting higher salaries increase.

According to some website the salary of PA (ASCP) certified is PA ASCP salary is $94,062 and ranges from $73k to $129k. In the Pennsylvania, the salary of an ASCP pathologist is $37.44 per hour and $77,885 per year.

Enhanced Credibility

The stamp of the PA ASCP is enough to increase your credibility in your field.

Increased Network

The board provides many opportunities, including webinars, annual meetings, and roundtables that increase the ASCP pathologist network.

Career Development

Through the ASCP annual meetings, roundtables, and continuing education program, you will get advance information regarding your field.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

To get the ASCP pathologist assistants' certification, you have to satisfy one route requirement.

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant subjects from an approved institution.
  • Pathologists’ assistant program offered by NAACLS within the prior five years.
  • Official transcript to meet the stated or higher academic requirements.
  • For education outside of the U.S. and Canada, foreign transcript evaluation.
  • Military training official certificate
  • Experience and training documentation with a letter of authenticity

Instructions for PA ASCP application:

  • Check your eligibility by ASCP routes or by using the BOC Eligibility Assistant
  • Open your American Society for Clinical Patholgy (ASCP) account
  • Press the button “Apply Now.”
  • After this, the application form opens in front of you. Add all required information in application form.
  • Submit the application form with fees (The application fee for an ASCP pathologist assistant is $540).

Preparing for the PA (ASCP) Examination

Check MLSIA Prep Courses Here?

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) explains all regarding the ASCP pathologist assistant examination.

Here you will find A-Z information, whether you want to create an account on the ASCP official website or want to take the exam.

If you have set your mind to get the ASCP PA certification, ASCP will help you on every step.

What you will get from the board for your ASCP pathologist certification preparation:

Content Guidelines (Subject + Topics + Key-Topics)

The ASCP BOC determines the content guidelines for each certification, including the PA (ASCP).

The content guideline comprises all information related to the exam syllabus.

In other words, we can say the content guideline is a like table of contents that describes everything inside the book.

It is a collection of subjects with question percentages regarding the exam, topics, and body content.

The ASCP pathologist assistant exam content area (content guideline) is given below:

Fundamentals of Pathology (Subject)

Subject main topics are

  • Systemic Pathology
  • General Pathology

40-50% of questions are chosen from the fundamentals of pathology.

Anatomy (Subject)

Key topics for anatomy are

  • Gross anatomy
  • Normal microscopic anatomy

The anatomy offer 10-15% of questions for PA ASCP exam.

Laboratory Works (Subject)

Lab operation includes the following topics:

  • Management
  • Infection control
  • Compliance
  • Safety
  • Regulatory

The ASCP BOC selects 5-10% exam questions from laboratory operations.

Subject (Anatomic Pathology Techniques)

The main topics are:

  • Surgical pathology
  • Autopsy pathology
  • Histological techniques

The anatomic pathology techniques offer 10-15% exam questions.

Subject (Autopsy Pathology)

The key topics include:

  • Forensic/Medicolegal
  • Pediatric
  • Perinatal/neonatal
  • Adult

Autopsy pathology gives 10-15% questions for the exam.

Pathologists’ Assistant PA ASCP Exam Content Area by MLSiACADEMY

Reading List Resources for PA (ASCP)

Textbooks for Histology and Anatomy
  • Neuroanatomy Atlas in Clinical Context: Structures, Sections, Systems, and Syndromes
  • Moore’s Clinically Oriented Anatomy Ninth, North American Edition
  • Netter Atlas of Human Anatomy: Classis Regional Approach: paperback + eBook
  • Wheater’s Functional Histology
  • Histology: A Text and Atlas: With Correlated Cell and Molecular Biology
Textbooks for Autopsy
  • Autopsy Pathology: A Manual and Atlas
  • Handbook of Pediatric Autopsy Pathology
Textbooks for Clinical Pathology
  • Fischbach’s A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests
Textbooks for General Pathology
  • BRS Pathology (Board Review Series)
  • Robbins & Kumar Basic Pathology (Robbins Pathology)
  • Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease (Robbins Pathology)
  • Fundamentals of Pathology: Medical Course and Step 1 Review
Forensic Pathology Textbooks
  • DiMaio’s Forensic Pathology (Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations)
Lab Work Textbooks
  • CPT Professional 2024
  • Laboratory Safety: A Self-Assessments Workbook
  • Laboratory Managements: Principle and Processes
Perinatal and Pediatric Pathology Textbooks
  • AFIP Atlases of Tumor and Non-Tumor Pathology, Series 5: Atlas of Placental Pathology
  • Stocker and Dehner’s Pediatric Pathology
Textbooks for Surgical Pathology
  • AJCC Cancer Staging Manual
  • Gross Pathology Handbook: A Guide to Descriptive Terms
  • Manual of Surgical Pathology
  • Biopsy Interpretation: The Frozen Section
  • Surgical Pathology Dissection: An Illustrated Guide
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • The Joint Commission
  • CAP: Cancer Reporting and Biomarker Reporting Protocols
  • American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)
  • AAPA Macroscopic Examination Guidelines: Utilization of the CAP Cancer Protocols at the Surgical Gross Bench

Exam Format and Structure

  • CAT is the exam format (show the next question by checking the answer to the prior question; right answer = the upcoming difficult question; incorrect answer = next easy questions)
  • You have to solve 100 MCQs.
  • The time for the ASCP pathologist assistant certification examination is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • There is no skipping option for any question.
  • You can change the answer to a question if you consider that you clicked on the incorrect option.
  • Pass/fail results will appear on the computer screen after completing the test.

Key Player in the Lab Medicine: ASCP Pathologists

Pathologists play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

They do their best to offer satisfying results to physicians for patient care.

Pathologists Responsibility

  • They are responsible for following the instructions of anatomic pathologist to offer anatomic pathology services
  • Perform multi-tasks, including surgical pathology specimen dissection and gross examination
  • They also handle the administrative work
  • Pathologists provide correct information to the physician by performing tests.
  • They are responsible for offering accurate information regarding every patient.
  • Pathologists are also liable to maintain the experimental instruments so that every time they show the best results without any errors.

Pathologists and Lab Professionals

The accuracy of results increases when pathologists and other lab professionals work together.

This team includes the specialists, pathologists, and clinicians.

Their collaborative work removes waste, minimizes errors, and increases the chances of offering quality treatments for patient safety.

Patient Care and Pathologists

The quality of treatments for patients fully depends on pathologist's lab tests.

They are liable to examine the right tests on the right patient.

Here is what pathologists do:

  • Offer anatomic pathology services
  • Examine cancer
  • Diagnostic chronic disorders like diabetes
  • Offer accurate results for every patient
  • Apply the right test on the right patients

ASCP Continuing Education for Pathologists

The ASCP Board of Certification deals with every ASCP certified, including the PA (ASCP), with positive moves like continuing education programs.

Continuing Education Advantages for the ASCP Pathologists

  • Continuing education is paramount for pathologists to stay current in the field.
  • Continuing education expand the knowledge of PA ASCP
  • Give opportunities to learn new skills
  • By attending conferences, webinars, etc., they not only increase their knowledge but also network.
  • It makes ASCP pathologist assistants confident regarding their experience.

Education Resources for Pathologists of ASCP

The ASCP BOC determines the various educational resources for PA (ASCP) to sharpen their experience.

The resources that the board offers to enhance the pathologist’ skills are part of ASCP continuing education programs.

Following are the products of ASCP continuing education:

  • ASCP Case Report
  • On Demand Webcasts
  • LabQ
  • Patient Safety
  • University of Pathology Informatics
  • Lab Management University
  • CE packages
  • Leadership Institute
  • Virtual Pathology Grand Rounds

ASCP Pathologists Career Advancements Chances

If you want to brighten your pathology profession with the best certification, you must stick with ASCP BOC.

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) provides many opportunities to stay up-to-date in the field.

Opportunity to Meet with Professional (Mentors Sessions)

The PA ASCP certified who participate in the board annual meeting can also meet with professionals (ASCP senior member) in mentor sessions.

The topics that are cover in this session are:

  • Career advancement within lab
  • Workforce planning
  • Networking outside of the lab

Mock Interview Session (Ace the Real Interview)

Pathologists get the following benefits from this mock interview session:

  • Get confidence of real interview
  • Learn body languages
  • Practices theirs skills and improve experiences

Education Session & Roundtables

The education session includes:

  • Experts’ interviews and interactive practice exams, etc.

By participating in roundtables, the PA ASCP certified gets information regarding the lab operations.

ASCP Pathologists/PA ASCP (Final Verdict)

The ASCP pathologist assistants are highly trained healthcare providers who are experts in their work.

Getting accurate results without pathologists is almost impossible.

Therefore, the ASCP Board of Certification concentrates on pathology assistants to make them sought-after individuals for labs.

Hence, the board provides tremendous opportunities and resources to improve their skills.

ASCP Pathologist: (FAQs)

Define the ASCP pathologists?

PA ASCP works under the supervision of anatomic pathologists and abides by their guidelines to deliver anatomic pathology services.

Which resources are ASCP Board of Certification offers for PA (ASCP)?

The ASCP BOC presents a lot of resources for pathologist assistants, including study resources, continuing education, etc.

What is the application cost for PA (ASCP)?

The application cost for an ASCP pathologist assistant is $540.

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