Dr Gary Lum, AM
Specialist Medical Adviser, Office of Health Protection, Department of Health (MTWT)
Hon. Visiting Medical Officer, ACT Pathology, The Canberra Hospital (F)
GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
If you understand pathology, you understand medicine...
Pathologists answer diagnostic questions, they don't do tests.
More importantly, diagnostic tests are not ordered. A patient is referred by a general practitioner or another clinical specialist to a pathologist for specialist diagnostic care including treatment advice. Some pathologists also provide direct clinical care for their patients. In a pathology laboratory pathologists and medical laboratory scientists work together to assist diagnose a patient's pathology. A pathology laboratory is not like a restaurant where a test is ordered. The pathologists and medical laboratory scientists are the best people to speak with about choosing the right test for the right purpose.
My most moving professional experience was working at the Royal Darwin Hospital during the Bali Bombings.
Laboratories are buildings they are not the people inside who do the work.
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