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Outside the Lab Clinical care, Digital and computational pathology, Microbiology and immunology, Training and education

2021: A Laboratory Roundup

1. A New Groove: Teaching Pathology in 2021 and Beyond

Our most popular “article” in 2021 was, in fact, our summer roundtable on pathology training and education. Though we hoped saying goodbye to 2020 might bring a sense of (new) normality to our daily lives, 2021 continued to raise new pandemic-related challenges – especially in medical education. Rather than dwell on this, however, A New Groove invited education experts in pathology and laboratory medicine to discuss their views on how training has changed over the years – and how we might take forward the novel teaching approaches COVID-19 introduced.

If you were unable to attend the roundtable live, that’s okay! You can catch the full recording here.

2. RNA: The Villain… and the Hero

Next up in our list of most popular 2021 articles is a tale that would leave Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quaking in their boots. Jarret Glassock takes us on a journey in which RNA takes on the role of both villain and hero – the coronavirus that has kept the world in a state of limbo for almost two years and the mRNA vaccines that have helped our immune system fight it.

3. Driving Care for Our Trans Patients

How can we ensure better care for transgender patients? At a time where transgender individuals are still having to campaign for healthcare and basic human rights, Timothy Craig Allen shares the lessons he’s learned so far in addressing these patients’ unique healthcare needs – and his vision for the future. Also in this article, Scott M. Rodgers discusses the unique challenges trans populations face in accessing healthcare and Jane F. Reckelhoff highlights how pathologists and laboratorians can support other practitioners in defining the health consequences of long-term gender-affirming therapy and improving long-term quality of life for trans patients.

4. Differential (AI) Decisions

Have you read our article about a new artificial intelligence (AI) model that uses electronic health records to make differential diagnoses? With digital and computational pathology becoming ever more widely adopted, we’ll no doubt see the development of more models and algorithms to support the day-to-day work of lab medicine professionals and improve patient outcomes.

5. Have You Heard?

Have you heard? There’s an audio revolution happening right now – and pathology podcasts are taking over. You no longer have to trawl through hundreds of textbook pages or scour the web for information – informal education podcasts are doing all the work for you. In this feature article, we go behind the scenes of your favorite pathology podcasts – talking to a panel of hosts about what inspired them to start podcasting, its benefits as an educational tool, and advice for those wanting to start their own podcasts.

If you want to get on the pathology podcast hype but don’t know which show to listen to first, why not start with our podcast, The Pathology Grand Tour? Our 12-episode series brings in experts across pathology and laboratory medicine to share a day in their lives and tell us about their work.

6. Extracting the Right Data for Patient Care

Another AI-focused article clinches a spot in our most popular pieces of 2021. Satabhisa Mukhopadhyay and Tathagata Dasgupta discuss how interrogating tumor biology can yield hidden data in digital H&E images – and, in turn, facilitate effective crosstalk between pathologists and oncologists. In the article, they say that “this next step forward in AI-based diagnostic support represents a true patient-centric democratization of digital pathology.” Will we see more research in 2022 to bring us closer to this ideal? We certainly hope so!

7. Gross Examination Tutorial Series

Just like podcasts, videos are revolutionizing the lab education landscape. The pandemic has greatly impacted teaching and learning – shifting classes online to address the closure of university lecture halls and laboratories. And now, Jason Innerhofer brings the classroom to you – hosting a series of grossing tutorials to provide virtual education to pathologists’ assistants and interested students worldwide. There’s a whole library of content waiting for you – go check it out!

8. Musings on a Missing Mass Spectrometer Vacuum

And so, we come to the end of our top eight articles of 2021 – ending with a short, but sweet, Image of the Month in which Jinny Jeffrey shares her “musings on a missing mass spectrometer vacuum.” Take a look at this vintage-looking image and read her poetic thoughts!

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About the Author
Liv Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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