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Mr. Gallan, Dr. Wilen, and Ms. Eichel
Mr. Gallan, Dr. Wilen, and Ms. Eichel

ASCP Award Pivotal to Medical Students Realizing Their Dreams

Monday, February 4, 2013

As a college student studying microbiology, Yekaterina “Kate” Eichel, took a “Careers in Medicine” class and chose to shadow a pathologist.

“I was overwhelmed by the complexity of the human body and the various tissues within,” says Ms. Eichel, a fourth-year medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina and a recipient of the 2012 ASCP Academic Excellent Award in Pathology. “I wanted to learn more about the inner workings of humans, diseases that occur within them, and ways to halt the progression of such diseases.”

“The ASCP Academic Excellence Award has motivated me to work even harder. I am very excited about getting more involved in ASCP as a resident next year.”
—Yekaterina “Kate” Eichel

She completed several rotations in anatomic and clinical pathology and was hooked from her first look at a microscopic tissue sample. “I like to see all the integral steps in the disease process in many areas of the body,” says Ms. Eichel, a native of Russia. “The ASCP Academic Excellence Award has motivated me to work even harder. I am very excited about getting more involved in ASCP as a resident next year.”  

Nominations for the 2013 ASCP Academic Excellence Award in Pathology are now open. Ten awards will be presented in June to medical students who demonstrate strong leadership skills, maintain an outstanding academic record, and have a strong interest in pursuing pathology as a profession. Recipients are presented with an ASCP Certificate of Achievement, an Amazon Kindle, a copy of the Washington Manual for Surgical Pathology, and are featured in a news story on ASCP’s website. Individuals may self-nominate, but their nomination must be submitted by a faculty member.

“The ASCP Academic Excellence Award has played a crucial role in my development by ushering me into the field of pathology and providing me with resources that will augment my education in the field,” says Alexander Gallan, a medical student at Boston University School of Medicine and another recipient of the 2012 ASCP award. “The award was a common topic during my residency interviews. I believe it helped my residency application immeasurably by providing justification for all the hard work I have done.”

When he entered medical school, he was committed to developing leadership skills. When he learned that other first-year medical students were having a difficult time grasping biochemistry, he wrote a 38-page syllabus for future first-year medical students. He has tutored students in biochemistry, presented a lecture, and designed small group sessions for them.

For University of Pennsylvania medical student Craig Wilen, PhD, receiving the 2012 ASCP award is one step toward helping him to realize his dream. He would like to become an independent investigator at a top research university where he can help advance the field of clinical pathology and lead his own translational science laboratory.   

Clinical pathology combines Dr. Wilen’s passion for medicine and science. “The integration of clinical medicine and research is crucial to success as a physician and as a scientist,” he says. “It allows me to effect change on a grant scale."