Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ophthalmic pathology faces a shortfall

A front page feature in the September ’08 issue of CAP Today, from the College of American Pathologists, alerts us to the fact that ophthalmic pathology is in a decline more precipitous than the Dow Jones Average of late. Quoted in the article is Dr. Thaddeus Dryja, with whom I did an eye pathology rotation during my fellowship training. Dr. Dryja says: “Whenver you read about a shortage of any type of professional …. what’s really meant is that employers don’t want to pay what the work is worth. If you paid enough, you’d have enough nurses and high-tech engineers, for example. Eye pathology is no different. Primary care physicians are also on the list.” The article lists that among the conditions that can be missed by pathologists not specifically trained in ophthalmic pathology are: keratectasia, primary intraocular lymphoma, sebaceous carcinoma of the eye, and acanthamoeba infection causing keratitis. To address the problem, some institutions are turning to cyber solutions to expose residents to an adequate volume of material. Among the institutions providing web-based tools (some with a fee) are the University of Illinois at Chicago, Emory University, and Duke University. Duke hosts The EyePathologist, which is free and includes a database of more than 5,000 vision-related diseases and 4,000 images. There’s also a glossary of more than 6,000 ophthalmic terms. The site, authored by neuropathologist Gordon K. Klintworth, MD, PhD. (pictured above), has gained a lot of popularity, with more than 9,000 current registrants from 158 countries.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm going to register for the site. Ophthalmic pathology is a black box at most places. It's like a hot potato--no one wants to deal with it, particularly the enucleations. Ophthalmic pathology is becoming more and more under the jurisdiction of neuropathology; however, the vast majority of neuropathologists say that they received inadequate training in the field. At the next neuropath meeting, there will be at least two lectures devoted to ophthalmic pathology during the special course.

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