Pathology means “the study of disease.” In a hospital setting, Pathologists are the doctors who interpret biopsy or cytology specimens, monitor laboratory testing, and often interpret those tests. At HSS, the department is divided into the section of clinical pathology and the section of anatomic pathology.
Clinical pathology refers to those tests that analyze blood and various body fluids, including clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, and immunohematology (blood banking). At HSS our department also provides the blood drawing services for patients at the hospital; if you are a patient here, these are the only personnel from our department with whom you are likely to have direct contact. Our clinical laboratory services perform more than a million such tests per year. These tests are central for the diagnosis and monitoring of patient care both as outpatients and in the perioperative setting.
Anatomic pathology refers to testing of tissue specimens; at HSS this means the examination of bone, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscle under the microscope. In addition, our pathology faculty performs nearly 19,000 anatomic pathology examinations per year. These refer to the examination of solid tissue with a microscope and include the diagnosis of metabolic, infectious, traumatic, degenerative, and tumorous diseases of bones and joints.