L.J. Atieh, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM
AAPA member since 2005
"I have been a member of the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants since 2005 when I joined as a student and became a fellow member in 2007 after graduating from Quinnipiac University. I served on the AAPA Technology Committee for two years after first becoming a PA. In 2009, I was asked to be a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)'s PA Examination Committee, which I served on for two full terms, ending in December of 2017. While on the PA Examination Committee, I served two years as vice chair and two years as chair. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this committee to help shape the certification exam for newly minted PAs coming into the field. It was a pleasure to work with fellow PAs and pathologists on making sure this examination fits the needs of the PA community as a whole moving into the future. Our profession is always changing and progressing, and the committee wants the examination to reflect that. I was recently awarded the Board of Governors Service Award from the ASCP. More recently, I have been asked to be a part of the speaker search committee for the ASCP Annual Meeting in the lecture areas of grossing, neuroanatomy, and autopsy. This committee reviews abstracts submitted by those who wish to speak at the annual meeting.
Working in the Northern New Jersey area for the majority of my professional career, I have had multiple opportunities to spread the word about PAs and what we do within the laboratory. I have given after-school lectures on multiple occasions to local high school science clubs explaining what PAs do, where I bring teaching organs from autopsies to show the students about our profession. As part of that lecture, I describe to them other jobs within the laboratory that they might consider as potential careers in the medical field. I feel that it is important to explain to college-bound students that there are other opportunities in the medical field besides becoming a physician or a nurse.
Two of the hospitals that I work for have summer internship programs for college students looking to pursue careers in medicine, which I have participated in for seven years. As part of their program, the interns spend some time in the pathology lab learning about what we do. Most of the students have never heard of pathology before and are usually fascinated about seeing surgical specimens as well as some autopsies and learning more about our profession. Our hospital system does not have a pathology resident training program; however, medical and podiatry residents frequently choose a pathology elective in which they observe grossing, autopsy, and sign out with pathologists. Over the years, I have also had the pleasure of having potential PA students shadow me on multiple occasions.
It is always a joy to educate others about what we do as pathologists’ assistants and to promote the profession in a positive way. I look forward to having more opportunities to share what I have learned with others about our exciting and challenging profession."
Are you a PA promoting the profession? Do you present at conferences to spread the word about PAs? Offer job shadowing opportunities? Educate students on what it takes to become a pathologists' assistant? We want to share your story! Send us a summary describing how you promote the PA profession and one or two high-resolution photos, and you may be our next featured member! Alternately, if you know a colleague who goes above and beyond to spread awareness of PAs and their role in the lab, submit a nomination for your fellow member to be featured next!