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Inside the Lab Digital and computational pathology, Quality assurance and quality control, Training and education

The Art of Algorithms

At a Glance

  • An algorithmic approach to diagnosis promotes a logical, sequential, and organized thought process
  • Diagnostic algorithms can be handy resources and allow pathologists to share their knowledge easily
  • They are especially useful for trainees, who can not only make use of existing algorithms, but also learn to create their own
  • Such algorithms move from history and clinical information all the way to immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics

Every pathologist knows that there is an element of art to the science of diagnostics. Not every disease presentation is typical. Sometimes, an important finding is barely captured on the edge of a slide, or buried in a patient’s clinical history. Other times, an abnormality in a biopsy may lead you to not only a primary diagnosis, but also an unrelated second observation. But with so much information to corral, how can you progress logically through the steps from sample to diagnosis, and how can you ensure that you are taking note of every important finding along the way?

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About the Author

Pranav Patwardhan

Pranav Patwardhan is a pathologist in the Department of Pathology at Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, Mumbai, India.

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