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UCT Pathology links

The Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (belonging to Faculty of Health Sciences) has been split into two departments.

The Department of Pathology is headed by Professor Carolyn Williamson and has 8 divisions

The Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences is headed by Professor Ed Sturrock and has 3 divisions

Other related UCT links

Creating forms in word

While using a word form to mark a student’s project submission, I noticed that every time I typed on the underlined bit, the letters pushes the underline away. Now, pathologists often have a bit of obsessive compulsive personality trait, so this matter deserves some serious research. The article by Word MVPs Suzanne S. Barnhill and Dave Rado is probably the easiest for simple Word users like me to follow. The process is quite simple.

  • Use 1 row multi-column tables for each line that contains text and underlined entry fields.
  • Set 0 for cell margins
  • Set no borders for text cells, and bottom border for entry fields, i.e. the text goes in one cell (which has no borders), the adjacent underlined field goes into the next cell (which a bottom border).
  • Afterwards the tables can be joined together (by deleting the blank lines between the tables) and the height of cells adjusted. Also remove gridlines from view.

The end result is a form that can be printed but also entered digitally.

For multiline fields, one can select the underlined paragraphs and edit borders for the paragraphs and choose a dotted line for bottom border (other borders off) and edit the paragraph properties to make it single line and 6pt above each paragraph.

Learning pathology

A medical undergraduate asked me today how to “learn” pathology. Learning and memorisation are not the same thing, but memorisation is a good place to start. While there are many ways to memorise facts and a good understanding of the subject helps, an efficient way to systematically memorise large amounts of fairly incomprehensible material (e.g. a new language, e.g. pathology) is to use software based spaced repetition, where facts are presented in appropriately timed intervals to maximise retention without unnecessary repetition. A free software example is Mnemosyne. Other alternatives include supermemo which has many advanced features and memrise, which has many online courses.

What’s a pathologist?

A group of doctors went bird sighting.

The general practitioner says: “Looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, probably a duck”.

The psychiatrist spends two hour interviewing the duck and says: “This is a bird that thinks it’s a duck.”

The physician selects a stethoscope and after thoroughly examining the plumage, listening to the heart sounds of the bird, and consulting Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine says: “This animal belongs to the Anatidae family of birds, which includes ducks, swans and geese. I will need to do some blood test and a chest x-ray to determine its exact subfamily.”

The surgeon takes out a gun, shoots the bird down, and hands the bird to the pathologist: “What is this?”

The pathologist spends a week dissecting the bird and examining the bird under the microscope. He then issues a 10 page report to the surgeon with the final paragraph saying
“Body of an adult bird, autopsy examination:
– Aylesbury Duck
– Gun shot wound through left ventricle of the heart
– Pulmonary aspergillosis
– Negative for malignancy”

And basically that’s what pathologists do. They examine specimens taken by clinicians and make detailed diagnoses on the specimen so that the referring clinician can tailor patient management appropriately…. Sometimes the diagnosis is too late, but it’s almost always correct.