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An 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
Re-visit an undergraduate lecture: interesting host tumour interactions
Problem solving in pathology
Look at the history and slides - then have a go at making a diagnosis
Pattern recognition - trial
A 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?