I thought to pen down the words with facts and doubts of my mind rather than with mesmerizing poetry. As recently passed-out M.D pathology student, I am stepping with baby steps in to deep oceans of pathology(still didn’t learned to swim yet)….
The aim is to lets make pathology better
PATHOLOGY is one of the most toughest branch to study( requires lots of dedication and sincerity) and more tough to practice( in terms of knowledge and economics) but under-rated branch( by patients and more by clinicians).
In recent years, a lot of vast research and advances has taken place in medical field and so in pathology. The approach for diagnosis is changing and so the new challenges are arising ahead…. The newer techniques like immunohistochemistry( daily editions of newer markers), molecular studies, immunophenotyping, gene assays, virtual autopsy and so on… From morphological patterns on histopathology to gene coding with specific markers we entered( entering) in a total new world of pathology and paradigsm shift. A lot of readings and differential diagnosis starts swimming in the neurons of pathologists before a final diagnosis is given…The aim is not only to give a pathological diagnosis but help the clinician in a targeted based approach towards a disease and targeted therapy.
Another important point I want to make is whether the benefits of recent advances in pathology is finally reaching the patients. The answer will be NO, as many patients are not economically affordable. How to bridge this gap from learning recent advances by pathologists and giving benefits of it to every patients( atleast majority of the patients)
Coming to financial aspects, INNOVATIONS COMES WITH A COST…From pathologist point of view, adding newer technologies in a academics pathlab or private lab is still unafforadable( or cost effective) for most of the pathologists. From patient point of view, can a common patient afford to pay the price for meticulous diagnosing test. The answer is still NO unless patient has insurance or government is sponsoring(including developing countries like India and developed countries like USA and UK.. Bernie Sanders, a democratic nominee for US presedential elections 2020 campaign HEALTH FOR ALL was an important debate). A lot has been done but a lot needed to be done in pathology administration so that benefits reaches to common patients.
Getting complete history from the clinicians is another basic problem .. unless we don’t call them and ask they don’t bother. But clinicians raises eyebrows when our diagnosis doesn’t matter their diagnosis.( I am not blaming all clinicians though).
Every person deserves respect, so is the pathologists especially from non pathologists( clinicians, government, media , patients so on.. I read nowhere appreciating pathologists(and technicians) anywhere in this covid-19 pandemic). I’m not writing in a depressed or pessimistic way but I want to challenge the present norms or lets together to achieve higher goals …
I want to highlight/focus at few areas and recommend few points( again I’m new and lot to learn)..
- At undergraduate level: Pathology should be made more interesting so that new aspirants develops interest in this field.( like pathology postings during studies and in the internship , so that budding doctors can be aware of what actually goes in a pathlab)
- At post graduate level: a lot of recent techniques are lacking in most of the medical colleges, the government should help and give loans or incentives or reduce the costs so that recent advances can be incorporated and new learning postgraduates can actually implement what all they read )
- At government level: the government should bring down the costs of IHC’s, flow markers so that patient can afford when pathologist recomends so that a more proper and accurate diagnosis can be given. Also I request IAPM to increase the number of seats in D.M and in fellowships( MCI recognized), so that new pathologist can pursue further studies..
I beg pardon if I wrote something beyond my limits … Lets make a powerful pathologist community( academics/ finanacial/social ) so that the new pathologist can bloom and prosper under the guidance of PATHOLOGY GODS.
MD HAMED ALTAF MALI