Getting started


  • To become familiar with the literature regarding training in pathology informatics and the scope of the field
  • To set personal goals & objectives
  • To get connected to local faculty/staff working in this area (or with interest in this area) and learn about relevant departmental activities


The Training and Education Committee of the Association for Pathology Informatics has endorsed a standard set of knowledge and skills objectives for pathology informatics training (see Henricks, et al., 2003 ). This online pathology informatics curriculum is based broadly on these published guidelines, with the following topics (see below).
  • Part 1: Computing Basics
    • Computers
    • Digital data
    • Networks
    • Imaging
  • Part 2: Pathology Informatics
    • Structured medical languages
    • Data analysis and databases
    • Laboratory Information System (LIS)
    • Anatomic pathology LIS
    • Systems implementation (management and software development)
    • Digital imaging
    • Telepathology
    • Bioinformatics
    • Statistics
  • Part 3: Relevance to larger healthcare system
    • Enterprise information systems
    • Information security
    • Regulatory issues
    • Quality and Safety
    • Outcomes research
  • Part 4: Additional resources

Read about

For Residents:
  1. Pantanowitz L, Henricks WH, Beckwith BA. Medical laboratory informatics . Clin Lab Med. 2007 Dec;27(4):823-43
  2. Henricks WH, Boyer PJ, Harrison JH, Tuthill JM, Healy JC. Informatics training in pathology residency programs: proposed learning objectives and skill sets for the new millennium . Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2003 Aug;127(8):1009-18.
  4. For additional readings in specific topics of your interest (and to get started on ideas for projects), see this bibliography in pathology informatics.

For Faculty (see above, also):


#1: Your goals

Training in pathology informatics is critical for meeting the informational demands of the next century. Before getting started on this curriculum, we recommend the following preparation:
  1. Identify a local faculty member who can be a mentor in this area. The faculty member does not have to be an informatics expert, but should have some background in information systems and technologies, and importantly, should have a strong interest in the field and in teaching/mentoring.
  2. Consider dedicating a month of formal elective time to this curriculum. Set goals and objectives before beginning the lessons, and think about potential research or clinical projects that you may want to get involved in during the month. There are also electives in pathology informatics offered at several institutions to consider for away rotations (see additional resources section).
    • Write down your goals and objectives for this month. Be specific in what you would like to learn about, and write down some outcomes you would like to see as a result. Bring this document to your faculty mentor at your next meeting (preferably in the first week of the rotation).
  • Identify areas of interest for potential projects during this month. Be clear and reasonable in describing the scope of the projects, and outline a timeline for completing the project.
  • Identify sources of potential funding for your project. (For ideas, check out the CAP Foundation)
  • Following completion of your project, consider submitting an abstract to APIII conference. Top abstracts will be chosen for recognition during conference.

#2: Who's who

Fill in the blanks for your local institution.
  • Chief Information Officer for hospital:
  • Chief of Pathology Department:
  • Residency program director:
  • Head of operations for anatomic pathology:
  • Head of operations for clinical pathology:
  • Faculty in pathology informatics (include your faculty contact for this rotation):
  • Enterprise information system administrators/staff:

Online Resources

(if available)


  1. What does API stand for?
  2. How does pathology informatics differ from that of general medical informatics or other areas of information science?
  3. Who is the chief information officer in your institution?

Advanced courses

Expert corner

Help with Wikipedia articles

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