[Histonet] UNCLE!

Monfils, Paul PMonfils <@t> Lifespan.org
Mon Feb 5 14:46:06 CST 2007

Perhaps a little experience I had some years ago will help put this in perspective. One day I observed one of our new residents carefully looking over my tissue processor.  He looked at the front, both sides, and underneath. Finally I went over and said "can I help you?". He said (believe it or not) "I was looking for where the blocks come out". He figured you put the cassettes in the machine and the machine then spit out finished paraffin blocks. I explained to him that we make the blocks manually, one by one, and also section them, stain the slides and coverslip them manually. To which he responded, "so there is really an art to this histology business". He was right on this point. An artist takes raw materials and with his/her own hands and mind, creates something that was not there before. Histology requires scientific knowledge, manual dexterity and many fine skills which can be perfected only by long hours of practice. Other areas of medical technology also require knowledge, but for the most part fewer fine skills. You don't really need much manual skill to drop a tube into a machine that analyses the contents and prints out the results.

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