The autopsy as a vehicle for the lifetime education of pathologists

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1984 Jun;108(6):506-9.


When the autopsy is properly performed, correctly interpreted, and thoroughly presented to the hospital medical staff, and when the diagnoses are coded and the records, slides, and other materials are appropriately stored, the autopsy is a most effective vehicle for the pathologist's lifetime continued education. It provides a continuous "refresher course" in the basic biology and pathogenesis of disease. It teaches the pathologist and, in turn, he can teach the hospital staff about injuries induced by new agents of disease, natural or iatrogenic, or those especially prevalent in his own community. In this way, the pathologist consultant to his medical staff. The autopsy provides a wealth of examples, at all stages of development, of those diseases requiring diagnosis in the surgical pathology division, as well as providing cytologic specimens of known neoplasms or malignant effusions that enhance the ability and experience of the general pathologist. Finally, correlations of autopsy findings with clinical laboratory data represent a superb quality control study of the pathologist's own clinical laboratory results.

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Pathology / education*
  • United States