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About Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Pathology means “the study of disease," and pathologists are the doctors who interpret biopsy or cytology specimens, monitor laboratory testing, and help interpret those laboratory tests. At HSS the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is divided into two sections: clinical pathology and anatomic pathology.

Clinical Pathology is responsible for tests performed from blood, urine, and other body fluids. We perform close to 2 million laboratory tests per year in the sections of clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, and immunohematology (blood banking).

Anatomic pathology refers to testing of tissue specimens - at HSS this means the examination of bone, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscle under the microscope. Our pathology faculty members interpret more than 25,000 anatomic pathology examinations per year, mostly related to metabolic, infectious, traumatic, degenerative, and neoplastic diseases of bones and joints. We also help document mechanisms of success and failure of reconstructive orthopedic procedures, such as joint arthroplasty or enhanced fracture healing. As specialists in musculoskeletal pathology, we also receive consultation cases from patients and pathologists from around the world.