(NAPS) — The next time you or someone you care about needs hospitalization or just a medical test, your well-being could depend on a medical professional you may have never even see: your pathologist.
Who Are Pathologists?
Pathologists are board-certified physicians who use technology such as digital imagery, advanced screening tools, molecular-based diagnoses and others that were once just imagined to identify and diagnose disease. Pathology and laboratory results comprise as much as 70 percent of the information in a patient’s health record.
Pathologists are investigators on whom every medical specialist relies to provide a range of services, from prenatal testing to cancer screening, to guide the clinical team on how to treat their patients. The right test at the right time can make all the difference in diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The pathologist’s pursuit of precision extends across a continuum of care during a patient’s lifetime.
If you need help understanding medical test results, you can ask to speak with the pathologist.
What Pathologists Do
• By helping health care providers pick the right test at the right time, unnecessary testing and unnecessary procedures are avoided.
• Pathologists use molecular testing to look for multiple drug-resistant organisms in patients and identify those at high risk for a surgical site infection so doctors can proactively treat that patient and avoid the problem.
• They are on call to examine samples taken during surgery and to review those results, which can be life-changing.
• Pathologists also provide data and data analysis about the entire population of patients so doctors can determine who’s likely to be at high risk for cardiac disease, vascular disease and diabetes. Seeing trends lets doctors be proactive and plan for what the community needs. The diagnostic truths that pathologists reveal can help all of society lead better, healthier lives.
For more information about pathologists and laboratory medicine, visit the College of American Pathologists (CAP) at www.cap.org and on Twitter @Pathologists, or watch CAP’s YouTube Channel to learn more about how pathologists are involved in your health and your family’s well-being.