Path Interest Group

The Pathology Interest Group ("PathIG") was initiated in academic year 2013-14, and is designed to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders in pathology and laboratory medicine.

The PathIG program was created to educate medical leaders on the various roles in Pathology and their impact on the medical field, and to offer a venue for UCLA medical students interested in Pathology to explore the field further. The PathIG hosts informative sessions with guest speakers, microscope review sessions, shadowing opportunities and research fairs and mixers.

PathIG opens each academic year with a luncheon that serves as an introduction to pathology, featuring an informal round table discussion in which UCLA pathologists covering a variety of roles discuss their daily research, education and clinical activities.  The last of these Pathology Intro Lunch Talks took place on September 15, 2021 with Drs. David Dawson, Dawn Ward, and Elena Stark to introduce their respective sub-specialties and how they differ from one another.

Another popular event is an introduction to dermatopathology (in collaboration with the Dermatology Interest Group) with Drs. Peter Sarantopoulos and Greg Gates - a field within pathology that appeals to many students.

Both highly successful events are attended by first and second year medical students. As one of the students stated, "During our first year of medical school, we learn about the normal and abnormal histological findings; these talks are helping me understand how to translate my enthusiasm in histology lab to a future career."

Meet & Greet with Path residents from all over the US usually takes place in September, UCLA Pathology Residents host a virtual Meet and Greet for medical students to meet pathology residents from all over the US. Students who attended this event in the past indicated they really enjoyed learning from the perspectives and experiences of pathology residents. 

During the year, microscope sessions with Dr. Bita Behjatnia take place to review material pertinent to the Pathology curriculum. These sessions supplement the medical school curriculum by providing interested students with the opportunity to go through the paces of a pathologist as a they utilize the power of multi-head microscopes in small group sessions; these have become so popular they have to be repeated several times to accommodate all interested students. 

Shadowing opportunities such as dermatopathology shadowing with Dr. Chandra Smart, shadowing with Dr. Goldstein, and shadowing at Harbor with Dr. Kene Ojuwku are offered throughout the year, wherein first and second year medical students follow UCLA pathologists to get a better grasp of their daily activities.  Ongoing shadowing opportunities available at Harbor-UCLA and Ronald Reagan. Please contact [email protected] for more information. One of our participants wrote, "I really cannot overstate how much I enjoyed this shadowing experience. It validated my interests in pathology."

At the annual Pathology Research Fair, faculty present a brief overview of their studies and then students can approach them to learn more about specific projects and opportunities to join their research group.

Case Based Event and USMLE Step 1 Review sessions are offered usually in March.

The Pathology Interest Group advertises the Pathology Junior Fellowship regularly as a great opportunity for medical students to dive into Pathology as a specialty and/or to widen their knowledge of Pathology as it applies to other medical specialties.

Our Interest Group is in contact with USCAP. USCAP Annual Meeting – This event will be live at the LA Convention Center, March 19-24, 2022. The PathIG coordinators advertise this to our medical student social media in case anyone is interested and available to attend this live event!

We congratulate our participating faculty as well as all the student coordinators, on the work of this excellent Interest Group.


Elena Stark, MD, PhD
Vice Chair for Medical 
and Dental Education

Contact Information

Faculty Sponsor:
Elena Stark, MD, PhD
CHS 50-060
Phone: (310) 206-9238 | Email

Medical Student Coordinators:

Karen Lam
Connor Webb

Zachary Bango
Sara Sakowitz
Bennett Shaw