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July 6, 1964

Pathologists Anonymous

JAMA. 1964;189(1):67. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070010073026

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To the Editor:—  That medical communications frequently include a detailed pathology report is indeed praiseworthy. Too often, however, authors simply copy from the original report without mentioning the pathologist or even consulting him.Such practice involves serious problems. Sometimes the main point of an article rests on the pathological finding. The report, reviewed by a discriminating reader, may not be convincing when considered by itself. But if the authors had identified the pathologist in a footnote, the critical reader would be able to evaluate the source and, if necessary, consult with the pathologist to review the original material.A further aspect involves the relation of clinical medicine to laboratory medicine or pathology. A pathology report is not comparable to a pulse or temperature record, a sedimentation rate, blood count, or blood chemistry value. A tissue examination is not "laboratory service" that the patient automatically gets, along with room and board

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