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Problem solvingAn essential part of the work carried out by the histopathologist is problem solving and pattern recognition. Whenever a Histopathologist looks down a microscope there is an element of the detective about their approach.

Interpretation is rarely a matter of black and white, it is more often a question of probabilities drawn from varying shades of grey.

A good Histopathologist has to be a knowledgeable clinician as well as a skilled morphologist.  The clinical information may contain vital clues, but very often it is too brief to be of value and on occasions is ownright misleading. Diagnosis is always a clinico-pathological sythesis. It depends on an awareness of the clinical possibilities, a proper interpretation of the microscopic findings and well-informed deductive skills - togethwith, at times, a degree of lateral thinking!

Try your hand at a few histological diagnoses... The cases used in the Pathology e-learning lecture and the Problem Solving in Pathology (Case Scenario) are provided from the Wellcome Trust, Brenner Building, University of Leeds' Virtual Pathology website.

Principles of disease Elearning lecture

Traverse slice through bicepsRe-visit an undergraduate lecture: interesting host tumour interactions

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Problem solving in pathology

case 2Look at the history and slides - then have a go at making a diagnosis

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Pattern recognition - trial

Pattern recognitionA study was done to see if recognition of patterns in microscopy is innate or learnt - is this a viable test for in future recruitment selection centres?

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