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Outside the Lab Profession, Training and education

Pathology’s Stories – in Our Own Voices

My most vivid memory from medical school is a lecture from an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, who began by asking us, “What did Oscar Wilde, the famous 19th century poet and author, die from at the age of 46?” Such questions immediately attract my attention because the straightforward answer, or the consensus view, is suddenly cast in a new and suspicious light. As the lecture progressed, the intertwined worlds of medicine, surgery, and pathology appeared.

Textbooks nowadays provide an unparalleled wealth of knowledge about diseases, including their presentations, clinical manifestations, and treatments. A single disease, aspect of a disease, or even a simple statement of “fact” may take a lifetime to discover – a concept often overlooked when we are faced with remembering thousands of different diseases to pass our exams.

It’s the personal approach that makes pathology and its stories memorable.

But it’s the personal approach that makes pathology and its stories memorable – and that’s where pathology media, and especially podcasts, shine. There is a wide range of pathology-focused podcasts to explore, and you’ll learn more about several of them in our upcoming feature. Mine – This Pathological Life (1) – focuses on the stories of our medical forefathers. We delve into each episode from a historical perspective and trace a path to the present to explore what we knew, what we know, and what we soon hope to know.

Our pathology predecessors were real people with real struggles – and we’re fortunate to be the beneficiaries of their efforts. I am constantly amazed at the boldness, perseverance, and sheer luck that has shaped our understanding of medicine and disease. As a general pathologist, I have the privilege of exploring the many disciplines of pathology and inviting specialists from every subfield to speak on the show. It’s this diversity of topics throughout pathology that lets our discipline’s podcasts reach beyond our colleagues to inform other health care professionals, researchers, and even patients. And it’s the uniqueness of the podcast medium that lets us explore the personal side of pathology, honoring the discoveries of those who came before us and celebrating the contributions of those who work alongside us.

If our listeners enjoy our episodes half as much as we enjoy recording them, we podcasters know they’ll have a great time. Now – if you’ll excuse me – having once again recalled that Oscar Wilde lecture, I believe I have a new podcast to record…

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  1. T Brown, “This Pathological Life” (2021). Available at: https://bit.ly/2NhGuSm.

About the Author

Travis Brown

General pathologist at Clinpath Pathology, Mile End, South Australia, Australia. He hosts the podcast This Pathological Life and can be found on Twitter at @DrTravisBrown.

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