Re: necessary info on surgery requisition

Marjorie Hagerty H.T. (ASCP) H.T.L., Q IHC, Supervisor, Anatomic Pathology, 
Eisenhower Medical Center, California asks about requisitions that accompany 
specimens from surgery.

Only in residency programs does a surgeon ever see these forms, and in maybe 
fifty surgery services I've worked on I don't think I've ever seen a form 
with a required signature by anyone. Usually the task is delegated to someone 
who was working at McDonald's last week. If you ask surgeons, they'll often 
respond that this was a hated duty when they were junior residents, and they 
are determined to have nothing to do with it. If there's any regulatory 
requirement for a surgeon's signature, it's more honored in the breach than 
the observance.

On the one occasion when I've had the opportunity to design one of these 
forms, I've added a request for the name of the surgical procedure performed 
on the patient. This piece of information is often greatly helpful to the 
pathologist, and is remarkably difficult to obtain otherwise, and at that one 
hospital the OR people do this quite conscientiously. 

For example, it's a lot easier to make a diagnosis of endometrial polyp on 
badly fragmented material if I know that the gynecologist performed a 
hysteroscopy and saw a polyp. I'll sign out a specimen like that as

endometrium (hysteroscopy with curettage): fragments of endometrial polyp

and thus create a concise clear record of what was done, what was seen, and 
what was diagnosed.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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