It is a pleasure to write the first message of our association. It is my sincere hope that we shall continue to meet and use our collective efforts for the improve of our specially in particular and society in particular and society at large.
As microbiologists and pathologists, we serve the link between basic science and patient care. A better clinical outcome is as much our responsibility as is the treatment doctors. It starts from being a doctor before being treating doctors. It starts from being a doctors being a pathologist or a microbiologist. We set out to help the sick.
To that end, it is imperative for us to make the clinician aware of the laboratory services not, just as a blatant customer who could use the service if needed but on the level of a laboratory insider who has a depth knowledge of what he can best for his patient and be able to see through new evidence and be able to effectively use new diagnostic modality. This will happen only if we take up our role on the clinician team discussing, understanding and educating on a constant case-to-case basis.
When it comes to cases in the grey zone of diagnosis, and radiological information is one way of moving forward. Initiatives that the clinicians have to take is to involve their link to science the pathologist into their practice. Formations of Tumor Boards where the oncologist, surgeon, radiologist and pathologist get together and discuss individual patient and make therapeutic decisions are needed.
There is a need to recognize that lot of what we find and see in our patients might not fit into diagnostic criteria his is an opportunity accorded to us by our specially. Such cases usually go in either of the two directions. The clinician may dispose it off as a laboma and pathologist could be let us working on this together to help our patient.
The role of the one with links to basic science extends beyond the lab and is high time for us to assert our roles. Towards the end I would like to share what a professor from Harvard medical school sad recently about academy pathology.
“Academic labs do offer added value. Lab data is not a printout from machine. It has to be interpreted, and interpretation without clinical context leads to poor patient management and wasteful test utilization”.
Clinician may not understand the limitation of the particular testing method and are forced to rely on marketing menus rather than the confidence of a pathologist colleagues.
Talking about a solution to save academic pathology this is what be proposed:
“Information the public. Patients shop around oncologist and surgeons: Why not pathologists? Tell patients to ask where their sample is being sent. The answer, “a reputable lab that has been certified by the college of American Pathologists” is not good enough. Does your doc know his pathology colleague?”
Lastly, this is your society. I encourage all member to take an active role in the society I as president, as well as other members of the executive committee welcome ideas you might have concerning officers, future meeting sites, or any matter our proposal to enhance the stature of our organization
Dr. Bandana Mehrotra