Welcome to the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
The disciplines of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine are uniquely positioned at the crossroads between basic science research and the practice of clinical medicine, ready to use new knowledge gleaned from scientific discovery for the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disease states. Our abilities to detect even a single, malignant cell among many benign ones are made possible by sophisticated instrumentation with ultrahigh sensitivities and specificities, by state-of-the-art DNA extraction methodologies developed by our research colleagues, and by new tests such as in situ polymerase chain reactions, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and the constantly evolving fields of immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and molecular pathology.
Anatomic, clinical and research pathologists and hospital laboratorians can choose from a wide range of career opportunities, from being the sole practitioner at a small community hospital, to being one of 200 in a large academic medical center department. Examples from our own hospital include people doing basic science research, staffing a section of the clinical laboratory such as Blood Bank, making diagnoses of malignancy at the time of operation for a brain tumor, or teaching medical and graduate students. Some of those in our specialty have responsibilities which overlap multiple different areas of the department and medical center.
The gold standard for the diagnosis of malignancy is based upon a tissue sample obtained by a clinician from their patient that is then processed and interpreted by a surgical pathologist. No treatment, whether it be surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, is given to the patient until a pathologist has rendered a malignant diagnosis. The pathologic classifications of malignancies are constantly under evolution. We always seek to further refine the classification systems to allow for an even more precise diagnosis which helps our clinical colleagues select a treatment modality tailored for a very specific disease process.
We are “the Doctor’s Doctor.” We are involved in the treatment of every single patient in our hospital. The patient never sees or meets us, but we are as essential to their recovery and survival as anyone else on the health care team. Come, join us on our mission to provide the very best patient care possible for each and every patient.
|Copyright 2011 MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine|