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Hematology: Blood smears on a glass slide, stained and ready to be examined under the microscope.
Hematology: microscopic image of a normal blood smear. a:erythrocytes, b:neutrophil, c:eosinophil, d:lymphocyte.
Bacteriology: Agar plate with bacterial colonies.
Bacteriology: microscopic image of a mixture of two types of bacteria stained with the Gram stain.
Clinical chemistry: an automated blood chemistry analyser.
Clinical chemistry: microscopic image of crystals in urine.

Clinical pathology (US and UK), Laboratory Medicine (Germany), Biopathology (Greece), or Clinical/Medical Biology (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, North and West Africa...) , is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissues using the tools of chemistry, microbiology, hematology and molecular pathology.

This specialty requires a medical residency and must not be confused with Biomedical science which is a field of science not medicine.

Clinical pathologists work in close collaboration with medical technologists hospital administrations and referring physicians to insure the accuracy and optimal utilization of laboratory testing.

Clinical pathology is one of the two major divisions of pathology, the other being anatomical pathology. Often, pathologists practice both anatomical and clinical pathology, a combination sometimes known as general pathology. Similar specialties exist in veterinary pathology.

Clinical pathology is itself divided in to subspecialties, the main ones being clinical chemistry, clinical hematology/blood banking, hematopathology and clinical microbiology and emerging subspecialities such as molecular diagnostics and proteomics. Many areas of clinical pathology overlap with anatomic pathology. Both can serve as medical directors of CLIA certified laboratories. This overlap includes immunoassays, flow cytometry, microbiology and cytogenetics and any assay done on tissue. Overlap between anatomic and clinical pathology is expanding to molecular diagnostics and proteomics as we move towards making the best use of new technologies for personalized medicine.

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Licensing and subspecialties

The American Board of Pathology certifies clinical pathologists, and recognizes the following secondary specialties of clinical pathology:

In some countries other subspecialties fall under certified Clinical Biologists responsibility:

In some countries in South-America, Europe, Africa or Asia, this specialty can be practised by non-physicians, such as Pharm.D after a variable number of year of residency. For example, in France, Clinical Pathology is called Medical Biology ("Biologie médicale") and is both practised by M.D. and Pharm.D and this residency lasts four years. Specialists in this discipline are not called "Clinical pathologist" but "Clinical Biologist".

See also

References

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