test tubes

Laboratory Medicine


Our Program

The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP) in collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN), offers a two-year, full-time professional MHSc program to educate clinical laboratory scientists in one of two fields in Laboratory Medicine: Pathologists’ Assistant (PA) or Clinical Embryology (CE).

This unique program requires students to take 9.5 FCE*. The goal of the curriculum is to train students in the practical aspects of laboratory work in these fields, and teach critical thinking and research skills that will position you to advance in these fields of laboratory medicine. You will apply your knowledge to finding solutions to complex problems, resolving serious ethical issues, and developing a strong sense of personal accountability, intellectual rigour, and become a lifelong learner.


Core Courses

All students complete courses in the following:

  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Biomedical research methods
  • Clinical laboratory management
  • Biomedical ethics
  • Biostatistics
Scientist works at a lab bench.

Students in the pathology assistant field will also take:

  • Basic Principles in Human Pathobiology and Pathophysiology
  • Anatomy and pathology of Organ Systems
  • Advanced Anatomy Dissection
  • Practicums in Surgical pathology, Autopsy Pathology and in Forensic Patholgoy
  • Science of Biobanking

Successful students typically complete this program within 2 years.

Students in the clinical embryologist field will also take:

  • Advanced Reproductive Physiology
  • Human Embryology
  • ART: foundations, applied methods and innovations
  • Applied ART laboratory Decision making
  • Reporductive Genetics
  • Current Topics in Causes and Treament of Infertility

Successful students typically complete this program within 2 years.

Two researchers dissect a tissue sample.

Alumni Profile

Christiana Legaspi

Christiana Legaspi, Pathologists' Assistant

The program gave me a deeper understanding of the foundations of diseases and how to apply this knowledge in a laboratory setting. Each case during practicum provided an opportunity to think about the biological underpinnings of a disease, and exercise the technical skills of a PA. After the program, I was able to confidently handle, process and cut a specimen with an appreciation of the pathology at hand. Being able to acquire the technical skills of a PA is fundamental. Every PA has their own style of executing this and with the practicum, I was able to practice these skills frequently enough to acquire my own technique.

Jenna Baffa

Jenna Baffa, Clinical Embryologist

I am part of a team that handles sperm and oocytes, from the time of collection to fertilization and transfer. The skills I learned throughout my time in the program play an integral role in my current position. The theoretical knowledge gained through coursework, laid the foundation for understanding what is done in the lab and why. The technical experience I was able to gain during my time in the simulation lab and placement, gave me a unique opportunity to learn the processes and procedures carried out in an embryology lab, before starting a career. I felt prepared to enter this job because the program had trained my brain and my hands, and these are the skills I use each and every day.

Potential Career Paths

What is a Pathologists' Assistant?

You are a highly trained healthcare professional who provides various services in surgical and autopsy pathology under the direction and supervision of a certified pathologist. You will often work in a hospital, forensic services office, or other laboratory in a private or university setting.

Researcher's prepare a specimen for examination

What is a Clinical Embryologist?

You are an essential member of an IVF team. You typically work in a hospital or fertility clinic, responsible for all the laboratory components contributing to the generation and continuing development of healthy embryos that lead to pregnancy.

Two researchers label a petri dish

By the Numbers

Percentage of graduates employed.
Number of spaces available.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

Learn more about our program in laboratory medicine.

*Full course equivalent. A typical 0.5 FCE is over one term (13 weeks), meeting 1-2 times per week. A typical 1.0 FCE is over two terms (26 weeks), meeting 1-2 times per week.