Elena Stark, MD, PhD
Vice Chair for Medical
and Dental Education
Elena Stark, MD, PhD
Phone: (310) 206-9238 | Email
The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is responsible for a considerable portion of the medical curriculum offered at UCLA. Our Department handles curricular instruction in gross anatomy, applied anatomy, histology, and general and systemic pathology in our school. Our faculty members also participate in first year curricular activities at the UCLA School of Dentistry.
In addition, our Department offers selective courses for first and second year medical students, including Radiology and Anatomy, Surgical Anatomy, Dissection of Human Cadavers, Advanced Head and Neck Anatomy, and others. Electives for fourth year medical students are an important portion of our portfolio, including Surgical Pathology, Autopsy Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Surgical Anatomy, Emergency Medicine Skills, and Advanced Radiology and Anatomy. Courses offered for Graduate Students are listed in the Research section of this web site, and a description of the Post-Sophomore Fellowship and Pathology is presented in the Clinical Training section. The majority of our faculty members are actively involved in innovation and research in medical education.
Many of our faculty participate in multiple undergraduate and graduate courses including Cell and Tissue Biology, Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology, and the multidisciplinary Clinical Applications for Basic Science.
This course is required of all 1st year dental students and consists of ten weeks of lecture and lab instruction in anatomy, including the fundamentals of all systems while taking a regional approach which includes study of the back, thorax, abdomen, upper limb, axilla and shoulder, head and neck - with emphasis on cranial nerves and oromaxillofacial anatomy. The Gross Anatomy laboratory sessions include traditional cadaver dissection, along with customized, computer-guided, independent learning modules.
Histology in the DGSOM at UCLA is taught through a team-based learning approach in laboratory sessions. Students prepare materials on their own, and take individual and group assessments in the laboratory. Sessions include the study of virtual slides, and specific exercises on clinical application of basic histology. These take place at Geffen Hall, and in the Histopathology Laboratory located at 1P-151 CHS, which includes eight large tables with computers equipped with Aperio software for the study of virtual slides. Most laboratory session end with examination of specimens to illustrate gross pathology, and to assist the students in the learning process of bridging the aspects of basic-science microscopic anatomy with clinical aspects of macro-anatomy.
During the first and second years of the medical curriculum, anatomy is taught through lectures and laboratory sessions. Lectures are included as part of the curriculum's block 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9.
Laboratory sessions are taught in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory located at 73-167 CHS. The 'David Geffen School of Medicine Gross Anatomy Laboratory' houses 30 cadaver stations and comfortably allows for the use of both embalmed cadavers and unembalmed cadavers for the study of basic, clinical, applied, radiological and surgical anatomy. In compliance with UCLA Environmental Health and Science, and OSHA, the Gross Anatomy laboratory offers a technologically-advanced environment that incorporates high-heat instrument-cleaning equipment, aspirators, surgical lighting, surgical and dissection tools, and first-rate audio-visual equipment - surgical cameras capable of broadcasting to the highest resolution plasma screens throughout the lab, as well as to individual monitors adjacent to each cadaver table. Live and recorded activities and events can be easily broadcasted to adjacent classrooms, other areas in the hospital, and even other campuses. The high quality sound system allows for guided instruction from the teaching tables to all student tables and for teleconferencing. All Gross Anatomy laboratory sessions are mostly based on prosected cadavers, with several opportunities for the first year students to dissect certain anatomical structures. Emphasis is given to clinical application of basic anatomical study. For example, most first-year lab sessions include a clinical application such as an ultrasound "hands-on" rotation, an exercise with surgeons to illustrate the relevance of anatomical knowledge in surgical practice etc.
The Department offers a 40-hour Dissection Program during the summer for the students going into the second year. In addition the majority of second-year medical students also participate in a Dissection course in the Fall and Spring. Gross Anatomy content for Step I exam preparation and review includes open laboratory sessions with student-driven reviews of relevant materials.
During the third year of the medical curriculum, anatomy is incorporated in review/reinforcing sessions at the beginning of clerkships of applied anatomy specialties, such as ObGyn and Surgery.
During the fourth year, gross anatomy is incorporated in elective courses that target clinical anatomy relevant to applied anatomy specialties (radiology, general surgery and other surgery specialties) as well as acute care specialties (emergency medicine, anesthesiology). A full listing of anatomy courses can be found here.
The Department's presence in the fourth-year curriculum is extensive; all senior students rotate through the anatomy lab as part of College Foundations week, and as many as two-thirds of fourth-year medical students attend the anatomy lab at least once during their fourth-year training.
Embryology in the DGSOM at UCLA is taught through lectures and laboratory sessions. Lectures are included as part of the curriculum in Blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Histology and Histopathology in the DGSOM at UCLA is taught through a team-based learning approach in laboratory sessions. These take place in the Histopathology Laboratory located at 1P-151 CHS, which includes eight large tables with computers equipped with Aperio software for the study of virtual slides.
Pathology in the DGSOM at UCLA is taught through a team-based learning approach in laboratory sessions. These take place in the Histopathology Laboratory located at 1P-151 CHS, which includes eight large tables with computers equipped with Aperio software for the study of virtual slides; some sessions take place in the 63-167 CHS laboratory equipped with computers.