Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer internships are beginning to wind down and I would like to give you the opportunity to comment on positive observations related to another intern's experience (or ask questions about another intern's experience).  I realize this may be the toughest topic we've addressed, so who is up to comment first?


  1. I would like to ask a question directed to Cole Winburn. I am interested in finding out what exactly a Pathologist is and does. I guess this is my main question:

    If you had to sum up what a Pathologist is and what the daily routine is of a Pathologist how would you do so?

    What level of patient interaction, lab tests, actual science is involved in this career?

    Thanks for any answers!

  2. A pathologist studies and diagnoses disease. Pathologists perform autopsies and also analyze slides of human tissue samples (prepared by a histologist) in order to determine things like cause of death, origin of a disease, etc. There are clinical pathologists who perform autopsies on non-forensic cases (i.e. someone who dies of natural causes in a hospital setting) and there are also clinical pathologists who are board certified in forensic pathology who are qualified to perform autopsies on murder victims, motor vehicle accident victims, etc.

    Considering that there are only around 6 or 7 forensic pathologists in S.C. that do what I was able to observe in my internship, I was pretty fortunate. Dr. Proctor typically does autopsies in the morning at 7am and then will be in his office/lab for the rest of the day analyzing tissue samples and documenting different things.

    There is little, if any, patient interaction with this job and it definitely involves using scientific observation and reasoning on a daily basis. I would recommend looking at the wikipedia pages for "autopsy" and "pathology" if you want some more general information on this area. Let me know if you have any other questions.


    1. Thanks Cole, that shines some light on the subject.

  3. Thanks, Taylor, Cole. There are a couple of other students who are also doing medical internships - perhaps they have other observations or questions related to the various settings. Chris worked in a physician's office, Harry with a cardio-thorasic surgeon, and Mariah in a hospital in TN.

    Would also love to hear questions/comments from those in other fields.