I finished my rotation at UPMC Children’s recently. Everyone in the class either gets to have 3 or 4 weeks. Here, we get to see a few specimens you wouldn’t anywhere else because they specialize in pediatrics. For example, I grossed a heart transplant case from a teenager for dilated cardiomyopathy. We also get the traditional routine cases, and because they do pediatric surgeries, this means a lot of appendixes. I also got the opportunity to observe 3 pediatric autopsies which was really cool because they are a little different from adult cases due to the size and the cause of death is normally different than the typical adult hospital cases. During my rotation, they hosted a lecture and lab for the medical students where they identified different congenital heart defects on actual specimens so that was another really neat thing to see. We learn about the congenital heart defects in class, but it is pretty cool to hold the example in your hand and see it.
Myself and my classmate Jessica attended the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants conference in New Orleans the last week of September. We were selected as the class delegates for the WVU program. This means we are given small tasks from AAPA during the year (nothing crazy), and we are tasked with writing a manuscript for publication and presenting a poster during the conference. We have not heard if our manuscripts were chosen to be published, but we did present our posters at the conference. AAPA uses the poster presentation to provide continuing education credits for its members because there are quiz questions on each of the posters for them to answer. Attending the conference is pretty neat! We got to meet delegates from the other programs, meet PA’s from across the country, and attend the lectures which were all pretty interesting. We mixed a little bit of play into our trip and did some sight-seeing during the evening and ate a lot of great food! We had a really good time and it was an awesome experience. If any future students are reading this, I highly recommend trying to become the student delegate.