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Pathologists' Assistant - McHenry and Lake Forest, Casual, Variable Days

Location McHenry, Illinois Business Unit McHenry Hospital Job REQID 65695 Job Function Laboratory Shift Day Job (1st) Pay rates are dependent upon experience. The minimum starting hourly rate for this position is 38.06 Apply Now

At Northwestern Medicine, every patient interaction makes a difference in cultivating a positive workplace. This patient-first approach is what sets us apart as a leader in the healthcare industry. As an integral part of our team, you'll have the opportunity to join our quest for better healthcare, no matter where you work within the Northwestern Medicine system. At Northwestern Medicine, we pride ourselves on providing competitive benefits: from tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to 401(k) matching and lifecycle benefits, we take care of our employees. Ready to join our quest for better?


The  Pathologists’ Assistant reflects the mission, vision, and values of NM, adheres to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Corporate Compliance Program, and complies with all relevant policies, procedures, guidelines and all other regulatory and accreditation standards.

In collaboration with the pathologist, the Pathologists’ Assistant is responsible for the gross pathology description and sampling of biopsy and/or other selected complex surgical tissue specimens.  The dissection sampling and description is performed in accordance with established procedures to aid the pathologist in establishing the diagnosis.  The Pathologists’ Assistant assists with resident training and provides a variety of activities in support of basic laboratory operations. 


  • Performs all duties as scheduled by pathologist.
  • Performs gross examination and dissection of surgical biopsies and large complicated specimens.  Maintains specimen integrity and accurate legible specimen identification throughout all technical and clerical processes. Produces high quality, high volume work in a timely fashion, always finding better/more efficient ways to do things.
  • Provides assistance with intra-operative consultations.  Cuts, stains, and coverslips cryostat sections for timely review.  Documents appropriate turn-around-time tracking information.
  • Prepares specimens for imaging and photographs specimens.  Maintains imaging equipment and files.  Organizes radiology files and photography.
  • Participates in Perinatal and adult autopsies as assigned.  Reviews autopsy permit and patient charts.  Performs related autopsy procedures, reviews gross and microscopic findings with attending, and prepares draft PAD as appropriate.
  • Assists with orientation and instruction of pathology residents and medical students in Surgical Pathology and Autopsy procedures to include specimen description, dissections, dictation techniques, basic specimen handling, and use of Anatomic Pathology equipment.  Provides clinical performance feedback on pathology residents.
  • Prepares materials and participates in conferences with residents, pathologists, and clinical staff.
  • Assists in distributing tissues and organs to approved researchers.  Performs technical and clerical tasks related to research projects.
  • Exercises independent judgment in the performance of technical responsibilities. Prioritizes technical workload based on assignment or established priorities, responds effectively to changes in workflow adjusting work to incorporate STAT requests or fluctuations in work volume.   
  • Practices the proficient and safe use of all equipment necessary for the completion of all duties and responsibilities within defined turn-around times. Cleans, disinfects, performs, and documents routine equipment and workspace maintenance per SOP.    Reports equipment or instrument malfunctions appropriately.
  • Assists manager and/or pathologist in development and implementing new and special procedures or techniques.  May assist in maintaining procedure manuals in accordance with practice guidelines and requirements of regulatory agencies.
  • Participates in quality and process improvement efforts.  Identifies ways to improve work processes and improve customer satisfaction.  Makes recommendations to manager, implements and monitors changes as requested.
  • Maintains a clean and safe work area.  Follows established laboratory safety procedures in accordance with those regulatory bodies such as OSHA, FDA, EPA, etc. Observes and practices Universal Precautions when handling biohazardous material.   Assumes a proactive role in laboratory safety and participates in development of safety protocols in surgical pathology. Performs minor spill cleanup per SOP when necessary.
  • Participates in cost containment initiatives.  Responsible for efficient use of supplies and reagents and proper operation of instrumentation. 
  • Provides backup assistance in a variety of activities in support of basic laboratory operations. 
  • Records all documentation consistently and legibly.  May create Standard Operating Procedures.  Maintains manuals and electronic records for easy retrieval of data as necessary.  Investigates, escalates, and documents any discrepancies or unresolved issues appropriately.
  • Fosters department and laboratory teamwork through effective communication.  Adapts to change and handles stressful situations effectively
  • Takes initiative for personal development by attending teleconferences, educational sessions, and required meetings, etc.



  • Masters of Science, Pathologists’ Assistant’s degree
  • Pathologists’ Assistant Certification (ASCP) or eligible for certification

Equal Opportunity

Northwestern Medicine is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected status.

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