Choose a Doctor, not a Laboratory
ProPath’s Director of Dermatopathology Shares Why It Matters
This is a sponsored and guest blog post by ProPath. Visit ProPath during MOMENTUM.
In today’s complex healthcare environment, choosing the right referral laboratory is no easy task. Laboratories are not “plug and play.” There can be stark differences in quality. Laboratories often vary when it comes to the ability to interface with electronic medical record (EMR) systems, turn-around-time, reporting, insurance contracts and billing practices, among other factors. The people, specifically the pathologists, the physicians behind the microscope, are oftentimes overlooked when a practice selects a referral lab.
The Value and Role of Pathologists
Pathologists can be a huge asset to a clinical practice and the entire care team if they are appropriately utilized as physicians. Just like a lab, pathologists are not “plug and play” either. Like other physicians, there are generalists, specialists and teams of specialists who work together. Variations exist in the type and quality of training programs. There are also differences in expertise, including sub-specializations (alopecia, for example), which may manifest in the quality of diagnoses and the ability to guide clinicians for further testing or other management. Some pathologists may pine over every case as if it were a family member. And finally, some pathologists even have a strong support network or team for challenging issues (difficult diagnoses, technical issues, etc.), while others are left to work everything out on their own.
Choosing a referral laboratory can be challenging as it can have a huge impact on the day-to-day operations of a clinical practice and patient care. When making this decision, it is imperative to understand the person behind the microscope, as this could be a life-long colleague and asset. Choose a doctor, not a laboratory.
The ProPath Difference
ProPath is a 100% physician-owned medical practice dedicated to patient care. Because of this mindset, we continue to reinvest into our laboratory to help ensure we are at the forefront of technology, including but not limited to molecular diagnostics and laboratory automation. We are also dedicated to hiring the best in our craft. In dermatopathology, we have amassed a strong team of board-certified specialists and sub-specialists.
As a team, we meet daily at a multi-headed microscope to discuss any difficult or problem cases. This allows multiple sets of eyes with various areas of expertise to review a biopsy and offer input. Any input, whether it is a differential diagnosis or suggested management (additional molecular testing, referral recommendations, treatment, etc.) can then be relayed to the referring clinician through the dermatology EMR system. We highly value relationships with the clinicians we work with. Over time, our clinicians become very comfortable with our terminology and, if needed, can contact us at any time.
Our experienced team receives continuing education and we educate new trainees, too. Our ACGME-accredited dermatopathology fellowship program and our involvement in residency training helps us keep up with current literature and practice guidelines. Through numerous publications by our team, we have even contributed to those guidelines. This forward-thinking mindset has led some members to attain high leadership roles in dermatology and pathology professional societies.
I invite you to learn more about ProPath at this year’s MOMENTUM conference and learn how our vision, to be trusted by physicians and patients as the premier provider of diagnostic medical care, can align with your practice’s goals.
Gregory A. Hosler, MD, PhD, FCAP
Director of Dermatopathology
Dr. Hosler is the ProPath Director of Dermatopathology as well as the Director of ProPath’s Dermatopathology Fellowship Program. He’s board-certified in dermatopathology by the American Board of Dermatology and Pathology and board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology by the American Board of Pathology. He’s an active member of the American Society of Dermatopathology, the Texas Society of Pathologists and the American Academy of Dermatology, among others. Dr. Hosler is the author of numerous publications and books including Molecular Diagnostics for Dermatology and Diagnostic Dermatopathology – A Guide to Ancillary Tests Beyond the H&E. Learn more about Dr. Hosler.