If I didn’t know the answer I would research it and get back to them. How can a medical laboratory scientist correctly assess a delta check or other significant laboratory test result changes without knowing the patient’s diagnosis or other clinical changes? The clinician requests a second opinion from another pathologist and/or the patient requests their slides be reviewed elsewhere, potentially where they may be seeking second or third opinions regarding their treatment options. Posterity will thank us for it. Learn how your comment data is processed. They will also head up Quality programs in the lab and be the driver of cost savings in the lab. Clinical scientists, medical consultants and biomedical scientists are all involved in providing a clinical biochemistry service in hospitals. If you’re familiar with the history of the medical lab you should know that it was designed as a place to stick women who were interested in medicine to ensure they would be safely walled off from public exposure and clinical practice. General pathology i… I, too, have been on the receiving end of comments from physicians and other healthcare professionals that have no idea our education. Six graduate credit hours per semester for four years (including some summers) while working one full-time position and two part-time jobs. Facts about pathology specialties . It has been a very common mistake … We're the people who tell other doctors what disease their patient has, whether it is benign (nice) or malignant (nasty), and whether or not it is out. Part of the problem the profession faces world over, is that there is a gross under-representation of Medical Lab. I have provided the link here for my readers to read. This response is for both the original poster and those who think like her. (My personal favorite) Our job is to provide the data. LADoc00 Gen X, the last great generation. The vast majority were very negative. So when they have had a question about laboratory testing, they began asking the only person in front of them that could possibly answer their question: pharmacy. Do we not have an ethical duty to identify when the incorrect test was ordered and either notify the ordering physician or correct the order? The high-complexity lab director qualification is best for those small facilities who do not have on-site pathologists. The pathologists I can sort of understand because they may think we would be stepping on their “territory”, yet the vast majority of the pathologists neglect clinical pathologist consultation and clinical pathology in general. We are part of the laboratory team. Part of the issue is that we are viewed as no bodies off the street that push buttons. First, let me just say that any generalizations that are made here will not apply 100% of the time. You repeatedly mention that MLTs will pursuing this degree. In short, the DCLS is a shot across the bow of the pathology establishment, and I would expect them to react in the fearful and hostile manner you have seen here. This includes extensive coursework (that means several courses) in Bio and Clinical Chemistry, Immunology, Microbiology, Parasitology, Mycology, Immunohematology, Hematology, Hemostasis, Epidemiology, Pharmacology, clinical correlation, etc. Perhaps there is more than one pathologist who thinks the DCLS is an unnecessary degree? The samples are often initially looked at whole and are then examined under a microscope. Can we replace the medical director? Please read the documents linked here carefully – what do you all think? It is considered a pre-cursor lesion for invasive breast cancer and when identified patients are treated with some combination of surgery, +/− radiation therapy, and +/adjuvant tamoxifen. Monica – your fears are not unfounded! Absolutely! They don’t feel it’s their job to be social, which is why they are in the lab to begin with, to avoid people. As the years went by, technology has changed tremendously, and the older Pathologist have retired. In a pathology, various laboratory tests are conducted on the samples of a patient that facilitate the patient’s diagnosis and treatment. Once they find a “go to” person in the lab they will call and ask for that person to answer questions. As I have mentioned in my blog, I have had more push back and negativity from our own profession and within the laboratory community than outside of it. A pathologist is a physician who examines the tissues and checks the accuracy of lab tests. And guess what happened? Students searching for Difference Between Anatomical & Clinical Pathologist found the following resources, articles, links, and information helpful. I am starting my DCLS this fall and I am so excited!! They may also recommend steps you can take to prevent illness and maintain good health. Toxicology and pathology require extensive medical education and research, with the goal of improving health. The majority of your laboratory staff likely have more college education than the majority of your facility’s nursing staff, yet the laboratory scientists are not trusted with access to the patient medical record? Here is my analysis of what has happened in the laboratory. Why is that? Jennifer – I agree. Pathologist definition is - a specialist in pathology; specifically : a physician who interprets and diagnoses the changes caused by disease in tissues and body fluids. Should you forget, the medical doctorate is also clinical doctorate. These job growths are largely due to the advances in molecular and genetic testing in the pathology worlds, and retirement replacements in the clinical benches. The document specifies that the “DCLS” doctor (former MLT) will answer patient questions about the labs, answer physician questions about lab, interpret results, guide further testing choices, and have full access to the patient EMR, diagnoses and symptoms to integrate all this info together. Why are the medical laboratory scientists not used to their full potential? I applaud these techs and the effort that they have put forth in being that voice that the physicians need. When DRG’s came into play, Pathologist (who I have great respect for), walked away from Clinical Pathology – with rare exception. Wow. And if your pathologist doesn’t have your back then its even harder to earn respect. The doctors don’t know or care that we are highly trained. This crisis is peaking between 2026 – 2030, wither anyone is prepared or not! A pathologist is a physician who studies body fluids and tissues, helps your primary care doctor make a diagnosis about your health or any medical problems you have, and uses laboratory tests to monitor the health of patients with chronic conditions. Pathology reports play an important role in cancer diagnosis and staging (describing the extent of cancer within the body, especially whether it has spread), which helps determine treatment options. Once we are all working together, both inside and outside the laboratory, I think we will start to see major improvements. Any laboratory would be thrilled to have you. What do pathologists treat? But this disregard for our education means they don’t want to listen to us. Talk with the non-pathologist physicians and ask: would you want someone to round with you that was like a clinical pharmD but was a specialist in laboratory diagnostics and interpretation? Unfortunately, it again shows that the primary negative viewpoint on the DCLS is from within the laboratory and not outside of it. DCLSs are well trained board certified Medical Laboratory Scientists who are ready to take on the role as a liaison between clinicians and laboratory personnel. Physicians are also, generally speaking, not very patient and want instant gratification. The role of the chemical pathologist. Cervical cancer in the UK fell by 42% when screening was introduced, a direct result of the cellular pathologists and scientists working with family doctors. How can you support the advancement of education and knowledge of your staff if you do not know the basic fundamentals of their education? At first I thought “these are just negative ninny’s hiding behind a keyboard that are so unhappy they just want to shoot down anyone else’s idea on how to fix things”. Thanks for the comment! They also cannot tell if the correct test was ordered without access to the patient’s record. But we are also all on the same team. Click to access KUMC_Doc-Clinic_Lab_Webpage.pdf. Physicians are bombarded with new and rapidly changing protocols, demands for electronic documentation, etc., and they cannot be expected to keep up with changes in the laboratory. The U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) projects a 22% increase in demand (U.S. HRSA, 2015). This is unprecedented! Now, we have a situation with new testing and technology that is exploding onto the scene with logarithmic speed. The laboratory industry projects an overall workforce retirement of 28.3% in the next five years (Garcia, Kundu, Ali, & Soles, 2018). Data is big and will only get bigger with time. Maybe the original poster should take the BOC and see if he/she caneven pass it. Reply. Sep 9, 2004 6,941 928 Status. Nurses hate us; trying to explain anything to them is a waste of time. They must first have the minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and the majority of those pursing the DCLS already have a master’s degree. 15+ Year Member. I ventured forward on faith because I knew that it was needed. It was very troubling to hear all of this from my fellow laboratory professionals. While I think that, at least initially, the DCLS will be more attractive to teaching facilities and smaller hospitals that do not have on-site pathologists, I foresee a future where there are DCLS’s that are nearly as prevalent as clinical PharmDs. pathology [pah-thol´o-je] 1. the branch of medicine treating of the essential nature of disease, especially of the changes in body tissues and organs that cause or are caused by disease. Everyone outside of the lab thinks we are button-pushing monkeys and they aren’t going to treat us any different. If you do not understand the differences in the levels of education of your own personnel, how can you truly appreciate them? A 2017 VHA Office of Inspector General report revealed that of the five critical healthcare professions (doctors, nurses, psychologists, P.A.s and Medical Technologists), all had been able to recover workforce shortages…EXCEPT the lab M.T.! As technology has become more complex the idea is to hire a less educated person and pay less to have them crank out results. Does it bring a $180k salary? I retired last year after 39 years of loving the profession but hating what was happening to it. What does a Pathologist do? Reasoning that I was given for their beliefs included: There is too much bench work so why would they hire a DCLS? DCLS's do not. General pathology describes a complex and broad field that involves the study of the mechanisms behind cell and tissue injury, as well as understanding how the body responds to and repairs injury. Keep up the good work. Some important branches and sub-branches of pathology include:Anatomical pathologyThis area of pathology involves the examination of surgical specimens removed from the body or sometimes the examination of the whole body (autopsy) to investigate and daignose disease. Please allow me to break it down for you: Laboratory Assistant – On the job trained, some have post-high school certificates, MLT (aka Medical Laboratory Technician) – Associate’s degree, MLS (aka Medical Laboratory Scientist) – Bachelor’s degree (has a different board examination than the MLT exam). Unfortunately, we have neglected this for so long, and the physicians have been yearning for help with laboratory test ordering and interpretation. Then hiding behind a computer screen to do it is just shameful. Pathologist definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. But Dr. Jerry Hussong is a clinical pathologist who says the job entails much more than that. The problem, however, has been what should we do about this gap? Below is a copy of a post that has been circulating two different message forums: the studentdoctor.net forum and the AACC forum. He says most of the work pathologists do involves trying to figure out what diseases are affecting living patients. I recognized many years ago that there was this gap between the laboratory and the physicians; and I believe that the vast majority of laboratory professionals would agree that this gap exists … OK, maybe not the pathologists, but I’ve met several pathologists that admit it does exist. No. There are many rural hospitals that currently have anatomic pathologists overseeing clinical laboratories, sometimes from several hundred miles away and they are only on-site a couple of hours once a month or even as little as once a quarter. The physicians appreciated it. Anatomic pathology is the branch of medicine that studies the effect of disease on the structure of body organs to identify abnormalities that can help to diagnose disease and manage treatment. Would it not be better for laboratory quality and patient care to have an doctoral trained advanced practitioner with extensive experience in medical laboratory testing overseeing these types of labs? Pathologists are doctors who diagnose disease by examining cells and tissue samples, and sometimes through performing autopsies. PathologyOutlines.com, free, updated outline surgical pathology clinical pathology pathologist jobs, conferences, fellowships, books As a new med tech, I still have some time before I would qualify for a DCLS program, and I wanted to know where should I begin to searching for employment prospects? There are many “Doctors” that did not go to medical school and they have been accepted for many years. After passing one of the nine CMS approved board examinations, yes they can, as can any doctor of chemistry, biology, or physical science. While not everyone will be able to endure the rigors of an advanced practice doctorate, it is truly the best hope for recruitment and retention of medical science professions. When I first started researching the DCLS I was so disappointed in the negativity that was being posted about it by members of my own profession. no one wants to work for free. I was one such person. This has had negative consequences for career progression and job fulfillment. These are just questions that came to mind as I read your commentary. Now, there are some techs and some departments in select few facilities that have made themselves into the “problem solvers” for the physicians. Immunological markers present in the cell… Why? Pathologists are often considered a "doctor's doctor" because they assist doctors in making diagnoses and the appropriate treatment decisions. And the DCLS degree will now be offered at UTMB Galveston, and a program at MD Anderson is also in the works. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. BLS, 2016) projects clinical laboratory (MLS and MLT) job growth to increase 13% by 2026, that’s double the ALL jobs growth for any other field. I have done this myself for years, and have been blessed to be a resource to the physicians who are taking care of some of the most critical patients in the hospital. You won’t be alone forever. I’ve been in two different states and in different types of facilities and trust me: they want our help. Not to sound like a negative ninny, but yes, of course, the physicians appreciate free help, as in I am assuming you are helping them as part of an internship that bears no cost to the receiving institution, but I wonder exactly how many would actually pay for the same services, especially during today’s healthcare crisis. Patrice – Thank you for your question. Just like the NP/ DNP degree has caused a brain drain away from bedside nursing to greener pastures and the lure of being called “Doctor” without attending medical school, so will the DCLS degree lure MLTs away from the bench into the role of Clinical Pathologist. Again, please learn about the education levels of your staff (see above!). On that note, perhaps it would be better to say that the objections are coming from pathology, not from lab. I have experienced great thankfulness and appreciation from the physicians who discovered they had someone to call and who was knowledgeable and willing to help them find answers. It is the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science and here is a gross misinterpretation of the position paper. I whole-heartedly endorse and applaud everything you just said!!! We are not looking to take over the team from the pathologists, we are here to improve test utilization, improve patient care, improve patient outcomes, improve communication and interdisciplinary care, and decrease healthcare costs. Furthermore, numerous lab personnel have noted the lack of advancement opportunities within the lab and the need to start school over from the beginning to become a PathA or pathologist – and this, too, may be partly due to efforts to put a wall between pathology and the button-pushers. Send-outs is usually to help curb the insanely expensive esoteric test requests from interns and residents – July 1st is just around the corner! I respond to the phone calls, the consultation requests, provide continuing education, and monitor appropriate test utilization which the pathologist is able to keep up with slides, electrophoresis interpretations, molecular interpretation, teaching residents, and medical directorship responsibilities. 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