Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Dr. Ashley Flaman looks through microscope

Undergraduate Electives in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Electives are currently offered for medical students in the Divisions of Anatomical Pathology, Hematology, Biochemistry, and Microbiology. When requesting an elective, students should state which Division they are interested in visiting.

First and second year medical students from the University of Ottawa may request a 10- or 20-hour elective. 

Information about 1st year rotation can be found here.

Information about setting up an elective can be found at the bottom of this page.

Anatomical Pathology

Anatomical Pathology is an area of medicine dedicated to the study of health and disease through the examination of human tissue. Physicians in Anatomical Pathology are specialist medical doctors who contribute to all aspects of patient care. Anatomical Pathology includes a wide range of subspecialties including dermatopathology, gynecological pathology, breast pathology, head and neck pathology, thoracic pathology, genitourinary pathology, cardiac pathology, and neuropathology.

Elective students visiting the Division of Anatomical Pathology will be exposed to a variety of subspecialties. Students will spend time with both staff pathologists and residents reviewing cases in the gross room and at the microscope. In addition, students will also spend time on the intraoperative consultation service and the medical or forensic autopsy service.

Electives in Anatomical Pathology are available for medical students in years 1 through 4.

Pediatric Pathology

Pediatric pathology is a subspecialty of anatomic pathology. The main goals of elective rotation are to become familiar with the basics of pediatric and perinatal pathology. At the end of the elective, the student will be able to recognize specimens that belong to the field of pediatric and perinatal pathology. The secondary aim is to allow the student to develop an understanding for the role of pathologists in an integrated health care delivery system and to be aware of the issues in health care management facing patients and physicians.

A rotation in Pediatric Pathology will provide the student with exposure to a variety of cases including blue round cell tumors, bone tumors, pediatric GI, and placentas. Students will also be able to participate in pediatric and fetal autopsies. The supervising pediatric pathologist(s) will help guide the student in gross and microscopic examination and will encourage the student to interpret the pathology findings in the clinical context. If interested, the student will also be provided with a brief walk through on pathology reporting.

Standard text books in pediatric and perinatal pathology are available for use by students. In addition, the supervising pathologist will guide and will work with the student on using the literature to solve specific problems that are pertinent to each case.

The Pediatric Pathology department is very active in research. Research opportunities are offered to rotating students, if they are interested.

Electives in Pediatric Pathology are available for medical students in years 1 through 4.

Hematological Pathology

Objectives:  At the completion of the elective, the student will be able to recognize significant hematological processes on peripheral blood films and bone marrows. As well, the student will have an appreciation of the role of the transfusion medicine laboratory and coagulation laboratory in patient care in a tertiary teaching hospital.

Description:  The student will examine blood films and marrows on patients seen at the hospital. Instruction will be both by attendance at rounds (lymphoma rounds, leukemia rounds, consensus rounds) and by participation in the daily sign-out of peripheral blood and marrows, at a double-headed or multiheaded microscope.  Emphasis will be on the recognition of anemia, leukemia and platelet disorders, their courses and further investigations.  A half-day introducing to the transfusion medicine laboratory and coagulation laboratory will also be available for interested students.

Electives in Hematological Pathology and Transfusion Medicine are available for medical students in years 1 through 4.

For Hematological Pathology Elective for medical student at the University of Ottawa, please complete this application form (pdf, 111.16 KB)


Clinical Biochemistry is the division of laboratory medicine that deals with the measurement of chemicals (both natural and unnatural) in blood, urine and other body fluids. These test results are useful for detecting health problems, determining prognosis and guiding the therapy of a patient. As many as 60% of clinical decisions are made based on laboratory test results, the majority of which are Biochemistry.

Clinical Biochemists are PhD level scientists with specialized post-doctoral training in laboratory medicine. All hold certification from the Canadian Academy of Clinical Biochemistry or equivalent.

The purpose of this introductory elective is to provide medical trainees with an overview of activities occurring in a teaching-hospital based Biochemistry laboratory. Students will be exposed to the four main areas of the Laboratory testing process: pre-analytical, analytical, post-analytical and Point-of-Care testing (POCT). Students will also be introduced to contemporary issues facing the clinical laboratory, such as test utilization initiatives, automation, quality assurance, standardization and regulatory requirements.

For Biochemistry Elective for medical student at the University of Ottawa, please complete this application_form_introduction_to_biochemistry_1st-2_year.pdf (pdf, 95.94 KB)

How to set up an elective 

If you are a first- or second-year (pre-clerkship) medical student at University of Ottawa and would like to request an elective in our Department, please complete this application form (pdf, 114.77 KB) .

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