[Histonet] RE: pathologists in the lab (shivers down thespine...)

Jo Dee Fish jfish <@t> gladstone.ucsf.edu
Thu Feb 24 12:21:04 CST 2005

Hello, just my two cents worth,

I agree that if there were a way the residents should spend at least 
a short period of time in a lab so that they can see several 
different staining procedures from beginning to end, from the 
actually biopsy procedure to the staining procedure.  They should see 
some slides of properly and improperly handled samples, just to see 
what a small mistake can lead to further down the line.

On a more personal note:
There have been times when I have been the patient lying on the 
examination table, that I have wondered if the doctor is handling my 
biopsy correctly.  I wonder if she knows what that small piece of 
tissue was about to go through, either freezing or fixation and 
paraffin embedding, and whether or not she knows that the way she 
handles it now can change dramatically the outcome of whatever tests 
she orders.  I know she has an idea of how precious it is, but does 
she know how one small moment can change the results, such as letting 
the tissue sit on the table to dry slightly, or smashing it, or not 
placing it in enough fixative, correct fixative, etc.  If she had 
spent a week in a lab, she would know more about the steps that the 
tissue goes through, and the precise decisions histologists (or other 
lab personnel) make concerning the handling of the tissue once it is 
in their hands.

One more side note:
My husband had his "dreaded" but necessary Colonoscopy last fall and 
had a biopsy of one polyp taken.  We waited on pins and needles (no 
pun intended) for the results for two weeks.  I could not believe it 
when they could not provide test results on my husband's biopsy 
because the tissue was "too destroyed to do the ordered tests".  He 
actually had to go through another round of tests and exams because, 
most likely, the doctor probably didn't handle the original sample 
correctly.  Notice I don't blame the lab personnel!

Take care,
Jo Dee Fish

Jo Dee Fish
Research Technologist III
Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease

Telephone: (415) 734-5766
Fax: (415) 355-0230
E-mail: jfish <@t> gladstone.ucsf.edu

Mailing address:
The J. David Gladstone Institutes
1650 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA   94158

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