[Histonet] Re: Is anybody hiring techs without a certification?

Marcum, Pamela A PAMarcum <@t> uams.edu
Tue May 10 09:49:46 CDT 2011

I thanked Bob offline last night for his comments on pathologists temerity on our field.  I have worked with and met some who are anything but timid however, most are not aggressive in political issues at institutions which is what this falls under. We as histologists have not always helped our own cause so I think we may be even on that count.  I hope this discussions helps those in our field and organizations we belong to as members to understand we are interested and we are looking a very severe crisis for the future of Histology.  Blame will not help only action!

I am sorry if I offended anyone however; we have heard for years "HELP IS COMING" and not seen it. I just get angry and say my peace from time to time.  I love this field and hate to see us lower the standards back to where I started in 1965 with research before that.  The field was complex in some ways just not like it is now and we need more education to be really good at the work that is so important to the patient who's tissue is on the slide.  We need to understand special stains at a chemical reaction level.  IHC at many smaller facilities is not a separate department so the histologist must have a more than working knowledge of it to troubleshoot problems and add new antibodies.  Instrumentation cannot do it all so, a good basic understanding of IHC is a requirement.  Then we have the new instrumentation for everything from grossing to the slides we use now and why as well as how it has changed.  Someone in an OJT position may never have the chance to learn it all and be their best for the future if they are only taught how to take the test and pass, not why they do it.  In most facilities we only have time for a part of the training actually needed to help add a new person to our field.

Pam Marcum

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Robert Richmond
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 5:11 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Re: Is anybody hiring techs without a certification?

I'm certainly glad that Yvette and I initiated such a spirited
discussion of the discouraging issue of certification in

Pathologists must bear considerable blame here, for not taking a much
stronger stand in defense of the people who make the practice of
pathology possible. There are multiple issues, like the poor
background most pathologists have in histotechnology, but I think the
biggest problem has been the timidity of pathologists in addressing
the issue.

Since about 1980 the job market for pathologists in the USA has
fluctuated between bad and worse, and the result has been that a group
of physicians already self-selected for timidity has studied and
practiced in a culture of timidity. Pathologists are extraordinarily
reluctant to advocate anything that might endanger their employment.
Pathologists haven't stood up for themselves, let alone for anyone

Pathologists' organizations, in particular the College of American
Pathologists, have not been very effective in addressing this issue.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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