Some pathology experts say staffing, funding constraints may be behind surge in testing errors

| July 21, 2008

Medscape (7/19, Gandey) reported that a number of "[e]xperts say staffing and funding constraints are making it difficult for pathologists to do their jobs, and it is more likely that testing errors will occur." Meanwhile, pathologists in Canada came "under fire recently after a series of mistakes in the lab were made public." In Newfoundland, "nearly 400 breast cancer cases went undetected over an eight-year period," and approximately "100 of these women died after their test results were misread." Yet, the problem "should encourage oncologists to remain vigilant and verify results." Jared Schwartz, M.D., "president of the College of American Pathologists," suggested "that doctors adopt a more collaborative approach, and work more closely with one another." Noting that "pathology, like most areas of medicine, is an art as well as a science," Dr. Schwartz said, "At the end of the day, it is an opinion." But, "[o]ur goal is always to provide the most scientifically accurate diagnosis that we can," and even though "results can vary,…we have to work with that," he concluded.

Category: Current Affairs

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