What is Anatomical Pathology

What is Anatomical Pathology Its Types & Career Information

In order to understand the origins and consequences of certain diseases, anatomical pathology studies organs and tissues. Processing, evaluation, and diagnosis of surgical specimens in hospitals and public cemeteries are known as anatomical pathology.

Is Anatomical Pathology different from clinical pathology?

Clinical pathology, also known as laboratory medicine, deals with things like measuring the chemical components of blood and other body fluids (clinical chemistry), analyzing blood cells (hematology), and identifying microbes (microbiology), to name a few. Anatomic pathology is somewhat different from this.

Many of the tests mentioned on this website are utilized in conjunction with anatomic pathology procedures, even though the majority of them fall under the category of clinical pathology. In fact, the lines separating the two are becoming increasingly hazy as technology improves.

Examples of overlaps are flow cytometry, cytogenetics, and molecular pathology, which can be applied to both blood and bodily fluid samples as well as tissue samples. Therefore, having a basic understanding of this field of medicine may help you better comprehend the tests that a doctor treating you or a member of your family could order to diagnose, track, and treat a condition.

Types of Anatomical Pathology

The three major types of Anatomic Pathology are discussed below.

01. Surgical Pathology:

Surgical Pathology is the evaluation of tissue that has been surgically removed or extracted during a biopsy. The pathologist ascertains what disease process is present and/or the degree of disease when a biopsy is performed (usually a tiny sampling of a lesion by incision or by an invasive procedure like a core needle biopsy or endoscopy).

Pathologists always use a microscope to examine microscopic slices of the lesion to make their diagnoses. Pathologists frequently employ a number of specialized molecular methods to enhance the diagnosis and forecast how the illness may respond to different forms of therapy. In this approach, the pathologist aids in directing any additional treatment the patient might require.

02. Cytopathology:

Cytopathology is the study of extremely minute quantities of tissue that have been aspirated through a thin needle or scraped off a surface. These treatments can be carried out in a clinic or a doctor’s office since getting a cytopathology specimen is often less intrusive than acquiring a surgical pathology specimen. Cytopathologists study single cells as well as small clusters of cells to determine whether cancer is present or not.

03. Autopsy Pathology:

In autopsy pathology, the anatomical examination of a deceased patient is done to ascertain what illnesses were present and how severe they were, as well as to put these results together to provide an explanation for the patient’s demise. The results of an autopsy examination can help family members comprehend how their loved one died and help the patient’s doctors better grasp their condition.

Where Does Anatomical pathology Work?

anatomical pathologist
A anatomical pathologist working in a laboratory

Anatomical pathology technologists (APTs) are the term used by the NHS to describe the healthcare science personnel who work in hospital morgues. They also work in local government public morgues outside of the NHS.
As an Anatomical pathology technologist (APT), you will have a variety of responsibilities and be expected to possess a wide range of knowledge. One of your key responsibilities is to help a pathologist do postmortems. Understanding the causes of death helps us to understand the progression of sickness, and in certain situations, when death occurs unexpectedly, the cause of death may have legal repercussions.

As you develop your abilities and expertise, the level of engagement and accountability you’ll have as an Anatomical pathology technologist (APT) throughout the post-mortem examination will rise.

A better understanding of the illness process results from the knowledge of the causes of mortality.As an Anatomical pathology technologist (APT), your duties are

  • Plan the daily operations of the mortuary facility (including administration and record-keeping).
  • Take good care of the deceased’s personal things and property.
  • Be in charge of documenting samples, specimens, and organs as well as their proper disposal.
  • After an examination, be in charge of reconstructing the deceased.
  • Communicate with a variety of people.
  • Offer guidance on legal and medical paperwork matters.
  • Keep the morgue and post-mortem room clean.
  • Ensure that tools and equipment are kept hygienic, sterile, and prepared for use.
  • Collect samples for use in research, transplants, or clinical testing.
  • Inform medical students and residents on postmortem procedures and exams.
  • Make sure legal paperwork is handled properly.

How to become an anatomical pathologist?

Anatomic pathology must pursue a decent training route like other medical professionals since they are physicians. Get your bachelor’s in the sciences, then finish your medical degree. By bypassing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLE) examination, you can become a doctor. Obtain a pathology residency to obtain practical knowledge while learning from an active pathologist.

How to become an anatomical pathologist
Credit: aucmed.edu

Anatomical pathologists and clinical pathologists are the two primary categories of medical pathologists. Visual, microscopic, and molecular examinations of tissues, organs, and whole bodies are performed by anatomical pathologists (such as during an autopsy). Clinical pathologists primarily use laboratory evaluations of blood, urine, and other bodily fluids to make illness diagnoses. Comprehensive pathologists are pathologists that specialize in both anatomical and clinical pathology.

Pathologists must complete a three to four-year pathology residency program after completing four years of college, four years of medical school, and other substantial coursework and training. Most pathologists will do a one- to two-year fellowship in a pathology specialism as their next step in their education.

Because they aid physicians in developing diagnoses and selecting the best course of therapy, pathologists are sometimes referred to be “doctors’ doctors.” Although anatomical and clinical pathologists operate in comparable settings and pursue comparable diagnostic objectives, there are significant variations between the two specialties.

The focus of anatomical pathologists’ examinations is on tissues and organs. The majority of the practice’s focus in the past was on post-mortem examinations, but today it also includes a number of techniques for analyzing surgical materials to identify illnesses like cancer. Anatomical pathologists perform tests to identify the precise origin of an illness, and the outcomes have a more immediate effect on patient management.

Pathologists must complete a three to four-year pathology residency program after completing four years of college, four years of medical school, and other substantial coursework and training. Most pathologists will do a one- to two-year fellowship in a pathology specialism as their next step in their education.

Because they aid physicians in developing diagnoses and selecting the best course of therapy, pathologists are sometimes referred to be “doctors’ doctors.” Although anatomical and clinical pathologists operate in comparable settings and pursue comparable diagnostic objectives, there are significant variations between the two specialties.

The focus of anatomical pathologists’ examinations is on tissues and organs. The majority of the practice’s focus in the past was on post-mortem examinations, but today it also includes a number of techniques for analyzing surgical materials to identify illnesses like cancer. Anatomical pathologists perform tests to identify the precise origin of an illness, and the outcomes have a more immediate effect on patient management.

Reference:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/anatomical-pathology

https://www.yalemedicine.org/departments/anatomic-pathology

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/healthcare-science/roles-healthcare-science/life-sciences/anatomical-pathology

 

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