[Histonet] Re: ASCP Exam Long opinion

RSRICHMOND <@t> aol.com RSRICHMOND <@t> aol.com
Fri Feb 2 08:53:57 CST 2007

Comments on this topic have been thoughtful, interesting, and informative!

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP, it was the American 
Society of Clinical Pathologists when I joined it in 1966, and the change of name 
tells you a lot) is not I think responsible for the lamentably low pay 
histotechnologists receive.

I do think that pathologists need to be much more involved in this issue. 
Most pathologists know little about what goes on the the histology laboratory, 
and this problem needs to be addressed in residency programs. So we have the 
common situation in pathology laboratories - the histotechnologist never looks at 
a slide, and the pathologist never contributes anything but abuse.

I've helped enough candidates find tissue for the practical exam (no, we'll 
have to get tissue from three or four uteri before we get just the right one - 
no, I can't get you a lumbar spinal cord from my next autopsy because I 
haven't got the tools and am not allowed to get them) - and I was surprised to see 
the practical exam eliminated. I think that there could have been some way to 
get the slides looked at without calling a convention. I'd have been happy to 
participate in the judging, but I'm not in anybody's inner circle. 

I wonder if it's time for some organization besides ASCP to set up an 
alternative path to certification, to counter some of the problems developing in the 
ASCP certification.

As Peggy Wenk points out, formal training programs are badly needed - 25 of 
them for the whole USA is a pathetic number. I'd love to work with a community 
college on such a program.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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