Anatomic Pathology Program

Electron Microscopy Introductory Rotation


Rotation Director:
Catherine S. Abendroth, MD

To learn the technical aspects of electron microscopy including fixation, sectioning and scoping, and the ultrastructural features of tumors, infections, and renal and neuromuscular diseases.

Learning Objectives:

Note:  The core competencies addressed by the goals and/or objectives are indicated by PC (Patient Care), MK (Medical Knowledge), PBLI (Practice Based Learning and Improvement), ICS (Interpersonal and Communication Skills), SBP (Systems Based Practice), and P (Professionalism)

By the end of the rotation, the resident will be able to:
  • Independently process a specimen for electron microscopy (PC, MK)
  • Scan a grid on the EM scope (PC, MK)
  • Identify tumors, infections, and renal and neuromuscular diseases based on characteristic ultrastructural features (PC, MK)
  • 4-day rotation during autopsy/EM/elective block 


1.  Self-assessment         
  • Study of teaching collection (PBLI)
2.  Reading (covered independently by resident) (MK)
  • Hunter, E: Practical Electron Microscopy
  • Dickerson, GR: Diagnostic Electron Microscopy
  • Educational binder in EM lab
3.  Practical exposure to ultrastructural morphology
  • Preview any HMC and Diagnostic Services muscle, tumor and renal biopsies throughout the rotation (PBLI)
4.  Didactic learning
  • Instruction in and demonstration of specimen fixation, processing, cutting and scoping by EM technicians (MK)
5.  Active learning activities
  • Hands-on practice cutting thick and thin sections, supervised by EM technician (PC, PBLI)
  • Use of electron microscope, supervised by EM technician (MK, IPC, P)
Method(s) of Evaluation:
  • Observation (EM technicians)
  • Post-test performance (Drs. Specht and Abendroth)
  • Residents will be evaluated based on direct observation by faculty
  • After each rotation, residents will be evaluated by faculty in New Innovations