Commentary on the below article and in defense of pathologists as one of the real doctors.
We read with interest Dr. Kaplan’s insightful take on the “GomerBlog” and “The Atlantic”‘s askewed Odin-eyed view of the pathologist as a doctor, “whose patients are already dead”. Far from the truth, we agree.
True, we look at the microscope day-in day-out, not just out of insatiable canine-like “curiosity” as HL Mencken boorishly assumed, but just like any doctor worthy of his stethoscope, and who had sworn The oath, we believe in helping people as patients and above all “doing no harm”. Our patients are well and anxious, eagerly waiting for their diagnosis, not as cold, dead, or in line for Dr. Quincy’s knife. We render diagnosis as honest, heartfelt,and as caring as we can, because we know, and God forgive me by assuming we all do, it is not just dead tissue we see that is on the line, but a real person, who consented to the biopsy, and whose life potentially will be or is forever impacted by any diagnosis, the companion therapy, and their associated risk and survival.
I do not think we, as pathologist, are “the Brienne” or even “the Tyrion Lanister”‘s of the fabled Game of Thrones saga, nor are we the keepers of the wall-the Black against the white blue-eyed walkers, although I would give ground, that from all of these archtypes, we do share some flattering traits of loyalty, smartypantsness, and oathkeepingness to our live or to be pertinent, our dead patients. I am biased, beg pardon to the metaphors, that pathologists are descended from the honor-bound souls of true rulers of Winterfell.
Pathogists talk with real people the world over to help with their concerns,hand in hand with “real” doctors, via telemedicine, via HealthTap concierge and other APPS.
Good day and good luck.
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