Has There Been a Pathologist in YOUR Life?

Tools of the trade.

There are about 21,000 pathologists in the USA. That’s not a lot. And we are a pretty quiet bunch, even though some of us blog, a few of us tweet, and a handful probably Tik Tok and Instagram. Quincy M.E. may have been our show but that ended close to 40 years ago, Jack Klugman himself met his maker early in the last decade.

Yet pathologists matter! We make the diagnoses on the biopsies that influence your treatment. We ensure quality in the numbers that tell how well your diabetes medication is working. We make sure your Covid-19 test is as accurate as current science can provide. We study the genetics of your tumor to predict its aggressiveness or the likelihood of passing it to your children. And we can be the final arbiter of how and why a loved one died.

Whether by nature or whether by circumstances, we are mostly behind the scenes. Unlike your heart surgeon, your internist, or even your urologist, you rarely get to choose your own pathologist. And even less often do you rave about us to your neighbors. “You need a CBC? Your really should get it done at Midtown Clinic–that Dr. Greene is a great pathologist.”

But are there some of you who have known of a pathologist and of the role they played in your healthcare? Maybe it was at a tumor board you attended. Maybe you went out of your way to review your slides with the doctor who read them. Maybe you called with a question about your Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.

If any of the above pertains to you, I’d like to know about it. Leave a comment, or drop me a line at les.raff@post.com. Let me know about any pathologists who stood out, who gave you knowledge, who made you feel cared for.

Please share, retweet, or forward this post, especially to those you know who have had an interaction with the healthcare system. I’d like to collect your stories for a future blog, or maybe more.

In the meantime, be well!

The opinions expressed above are those of the author and not UroPartners, LLC.

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Filed under: Health, medicine, pathology

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