It is commonly said, and with some truth, that the pathologist has the last word as to clinical diagnosis. This is not because he has superior intelligence but simply because he has direct access to the material, in contrast to the clinician, who thumps, feels and listens, looks through long narrow tubes with a tiny light at the end, inspects through a wound with his mind on the welfare of the patient and his thought on the clock, or depends on a photograph of the interior, vague as to definition and subject to various interpretations. The pathologist suffers none of these handicaps. His patient is not breathing, cannot feel pain and is not in danger of shock or exsanguination, his examination can be direct and thorough, and his time is limited only by the fact that he himself may die some time.
The correlation of clinical and postmortem results necessitates
KARSNER HT. A PATHOLOGIST SCRUTINIZES THE SPECIALTY BOARDS: THE WILLIAM W. ROOT LECTURE OF ALPHA OMEGA ALPHA HONORARY MEDICAL SOCIETY. JAMA. 1941;117(1):1–4. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820270001001
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