Re: FW: Loud approval
It is nice to know there are some other enlightened pathologists out there.
I have been very fortunate in my 25-30 year career to work with two of the
greatest. The first was Dr. Matthew Block who was in a league of his own.
Dr. Block first got his PhD in embryology and found that he was not taken
seriously in science because he did not have an MD. He went to medical school
and got an MD and specialized in hematology/oncology. He could not get the
emergency (at least he thought they were emergency) histopathology services he
felt he needed to care for his patients from our histopathology department.
Leukemia patients can crash really fast and their bone marrows need to be
evaluated off hours. Dr. Block then took his training as a pathologist and
actually became certified in pathology so he was a clinical doctor caring for
patients and doing his own histopathology on his patients. You don't find many
clinicians trained like that. Dr. Block set up his own histology lab and
generated the path reports on his patients. He loved fooling around in the lab
and his expectations for section quality were at the highest standard I have
known. At my interview he required that I cut a 1/4 micron thick section from
GMA embedded tissue. I had not ever cut plastic before or used glass knives,
the pressure was on. Dr. Block died of liver failure from hepatitis in about
1983. The pathology department asked me to come work for them and bring the
hematopathology service with me. I moved to Path and set up their
hematopathology service and metabolic bone disease service.
Dr. Huffer was director of the metabolic bone disease service. He is a bone
pathologist and specializes in metabolic bone diseases. We did bone biopsies on
patients prelabeled with fluorchromes such as tetracycline so that we could
measure bone formation using computerized image analysis histomorphometry. We
often refered to Dr. Huffer as "a frustrated histotech". He would cut his own
sections and was a genuis at developing staining techniques. Dr. Huffer's
training included histotechnology. His trainer was an older lady who demanded
perfection as she walked around the histology lab full of solvents with a
cigarette hanging out of her mouth. My point is, both of my pathologist mentors
were very good histotechs in their own right who knew that perfection was
achievable because they had done it themselves. There are good and bad points
to this. Saying you tried and failed was not an option with these two. This
also helped them to appreciate the skill and effort required to attain such
perfection. They would say to me "this is what I want and this is how to do
it". In my experience with others I am told "this is what I want and I don't
know or care how you get it". The difference may seem subtle but they are
Thanks for indulging me my rant, and yes I am taking this opportunity to pat us
on the back, we deserve it.
"Bartlett, Jeanine" wrote:
> A pathologist who would like to remain anonymous sent this to me....
> Let me quote a phrase or two:
> "The problem falls with the...pathologists and others...that think they
> know what it takes to do a job that they themselves know very little about."
> Say Amen!
> The histotechnologists with whom I am lucky enough to work, and to have
> worked, do a beautiful job IN SPITE OF all kinds of hurdles, many of which
> could be lowered, if not eliminated, if I and other pathologists knew more
> about histotechnology. When things DON'T go right, ninety-nine per cent.
> of the time it's because of something done at the cut-in bench.
> If I could consistently do as good a job, as a pathologist, as my
> colleagues in histotechnology do, as histotechnologists, I'd be a MUCH
> better pathologist.
> And I'm happy to let histotechnologists do THEIR job without putting my oar
> At 06:28 10/07/02 -0400, you wrote:
> >I honestly don't think the issue is between the MT's and the HT's. I think
> >we are all professional enough to know the skill and knowledge that is
> >required to do these jobs well and to know that neither can be learned well
> >in a few months. The problem falls with the supervisors and pathologists
> >and others that manage that think they know what it takes to do a job that
> >they themselves know very little about. If the supervisors were educated
> >the field(s) they are supervising we wouldn't have this problem.
> >Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
> >Centers for Disease Control
> >Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
> >1600 Clifton Rd., N.E. MS-G32
> >Atlanta, GA 30333
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