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April 9, 1982

A Pathologist's Point of View

Author Affiliations

St Elizabeth Hospital Lafayette, Ind

JAMA. 1982;247(14):1935. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320390019010

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To the Editor.—  I read the COMMENTARY "A Radiologist's Point of View" by Marc J. Homer, MD (1981; 246:2581), and as a practicing pathologist in a busy community hospital I certainly share all of the problems and frustrations that he outlined. For example, a survey of one day's surgical tissue requisitions showed 61% without any preoperative or postoperative diagnoses.It is particularly frustrating to receive a specimen that has little useful clinical information. In many instances, the pathologist's examination is dictated by a knowledge of the clinical problem. Although examples to support this abound, one that highlights this issue quite well is related to the examination of a uterus. For nonneoplastic conditions the gross examination begins by taking a section from each cervical lip; however, in a case of suspected cervical in situ squamous carcinoma this is inadequate because the extent of the lesion would remain undetermined. Without knowing the