You are healthier because of the medical expertise of pathologists, who are physicians committed to accurately diagnosing disease so that you can begin treatment.
Every time you get blood drawn or have tissue analyzed during surgery, a pathologist is working with your primary care physician or surgeon to provide an accurate diagnosis and develop the right treatment for you.
Diagnosis is not only the prerequisite for treatment, it is also the point at which healing begins.
Some community hospitals don’t have pathology units on site. That’s why pathologist James E. Richard, DO, FCAP took it upon himself to convert a retired ambulance into a pathology unit on wheels. The mobile unit allows Dr. Richard to visit small hospitals and outpatient surgery centers where in-house pathology expertise, a critical piece of promoting patient health, is in short supply.
In this video, you’ll see a surgeon operating on a 91-year-old woman. Staff from the operating room deliver a section of her tissue to Dr. Richard’s mobile unit in the hospital’s parking lot. Because of the close proximity the mobile unit provides, Dr. Richard is able to examine the specimen immediately and communicates a diagnosis to the surgeon in real time.
You may never see your pathologist, but they see you and they care deeply about your health. After surgery, blood tests, or procedures, you may receive your pathology report online or in the mail. You can be confident in the report because the work of examining your blood or tissue was done by a pathologist, a physician specially trained in the study and diagnosis of disease. Your pathologist is part of a multidisciplinary team who work side by side with your primary care physician or surgeon to understand your unique medical situation and determine the best course of treatment.
A pathology report may not always be the easiest information to comprehend, but don’t worry. On the report, you can see who reviewed your results and whether the review was conducted at an accredited laboratory by a board-certified pathologist. This is empowering information. If you have questions, ask to speak with the pathologist whose name is on the report or follow up with your primary care physician for additional insight into your results.
Your primary care physician may order a biopsy or remove tissue during surgery. This tissue plays a critical role in aiding your primary care physician in making a diagnosis and thereby deciding an effective treatment. But what happens to the sample once it leaves your physician’s hands?
The destination is, of course, the pathology laboratory. In this video, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how trained experts prepare your tissue before it’s ultimately placed under your pathologist’s microscope.
Watch how your pathologist analyzes clinical data to provide an accurate diagnosis and facilitate the beginning of your treatment.