How to read your pathology report

Last week  I posted that you should always ask for a copy of your medical reports.

One of the downsides, of course, is that those reports are often written in medical language that can be confusing or alarming.

But in response to a more savvy patient population, the College of American Pathologists has made a video to explain how the system works and to encourage patients to be involved in obtaining and understanding their pathology reports.

You can watch the video here on the medical website KevinMD.

They also created a two-page educational brochure to guide a patient through reading the pathology report.

You can download that brochure here.

The pathologist in the video definitely inspires confidence that blood or tissue samples are handled professionally and that the utmost care is given to ensure an accurate result and diagnosis.

I’m sure that’s true. But when medical mistakes happen, it’s very often the result of poor communication—someone in the game dropped the ball and the patient is left uninformed.

So my advice from my previous post stands. If you haven’t heard the results of any medical tests within a few days, call your doctor or call the laboratory to find out what’s going on.


Frugal Nurse


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