RE: pathologist on the list- was- histotech mortality

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From:Pam Marcum <>,
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I would not argue your training was very good.  Many of the older
pathologist I meet are very well trained and can do most stains in the lab.
Unfortunately, many of the younger group (Last fifteen years) areas well
trained.  They may know how to cut a frozen but they can't do any of the
staining or understand a great deal of the basic work done daily.  They know
the chemistry and the morphology not the routine anymore.  The specialty
areas are a little better because they have to do the reviews.

Please do not take it personally as a slam at you however, those of us who
have traveled as technical trainers and to demo new equipment see the good,
the bad and the very ugly.  Often the very ugly, meaning not well trained
are the most common.  Pam

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2000 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: pathologist on the list- was- histotech mortality

Bob Schoonhoven notes the deficiency in pathologists' training in histologic

Pathology residents learn to do what they're required to do. In my residency
no histotech ever touched a cryostat - not only we did all the frozen
sections, but we did all the cleaning and minor maintenance. As a senior
resident I could field strip and clean one of the Damon-IEC cryostats (many
of those models are still in use - saw an early 1960's model still running
a backup last week) - not sure I could still pull out a microtome, but I
could then.

A few years earlier, my residency had stopped requiring residents to do
own special stains, because it became impractical to provide the enlarged
facilities required. (I learned to do most of them the year I spent as a
histochemistry research fellow.) For a couple of years I gave a series of
lectures on the standard special stains - what they worked and what they
looked like - with a lovely collection of 35 mm slides to accompany it - but
I doubt the lectures were an adequate substitute for hands-on and eyes-on

Pathology residencies have grown much too long, and it's time to stop
flogging the dead duck of clinical pathology. If pathology residencies are
be re-thought, I think that providing better training in technique - not
histology, but grossing technique and things like that - needs to be talked

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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