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|State and Federal Laws and Regulations Governing PAs|
12-1-2016: Update for Pathologists’ Assistants Practicing in New York. Read full news story here.
Nevada is only one of a couple states which require a license to practice as a pathologists’ assistant. The license does NOT require that you be an ASCP certified pathologists’ assistant. They allow experience based applicants as well. If the applicant is not certified, then they must possess a baccalaureate degree with a major or minor in a biological science or an allied health field and have at least 3 years of combined experience in surgical pathology and autopsy pathology.
New York is in the process of implementing a licensing law. As of December, 2016 the Governor signed off on a bill creating a new licensure category for Pathologists' Assistants. The law also provides Pathologists' Assistants a secure future in New York, thereby supporting the patients and institutions they serve. See our previous news story here. View the law here. Although specific details on obtaining licensure are yet to be devised, a state committee has been established that includes three of our own AAPA members: Kathleen Bykowicz, PA(ASCP)CM, Charles Fernandez-Perez, PA(ASCP)CM, and Lysette Seegobin, PA(ASCP)CM. Read the full news story here.
California does NOT currently require a license or certification to practice. California did however pass a law which states that if you are not certified and are doing anatomic pathology work which involves the dissection of tissue specimens, then a pathologist must be physically present on-site, in the facility, available for immediate consultation during the entire time the work is being performed. If the person performing the work is certified then a pathologist does not need to be present when the work is being performed. These California stipulations apply to specimens which have to be "dissected.” There is an exception for specimens that are so small that they do not require dissection, but can just be described and totally embedded without cutting. In that case, a non-certified person may process those specimens with indirect supervision by a pathologist. The specific wording is: "For tissue processing that does not involve dissection, a qualified pathologist may be available by telephone or other electronic means." People doing any kind of grossing in California must still be qualified to perform high complexity testing per Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulations (which are also cited in the California rule). See "Federal” below.