Medical practice requires physicians to have a broad understanding of the basic sciences, have competent clinical skills, and have an ability to practice in evolving health systems in a cost-effective and evidence-based manner. Essential to the practice of medicine is an understanding of the common laboratory tests and the ability to use them effectively. The Essential Laboratory Tests for Medical Education (ELTME) is a concise document explaining the pathophysiology of common laboratory tests and clinical context for each test and was developed in response to an expressed need from medical students, residents and fellows, and medical educators. The ELTME is linked to the Pathology Competencies in Medical Education and its third competency of diagnostic medicine and therapeutic pathology. The ELTME table is a document of common laboratory tests in alphabetical listing. Laboratory tests may be easily queried by name or organ system, and with simple editing tools, new tables may be constructed to fit the needs of individual curricula or learners. Furthermore, the table may be easily expanded by educators who wish to add specific tests to complement their curricula.