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J Clin Pathol. 2017 Dec 22. pii: jclinpath-2017-204734. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2017-204734. [Epub ahead of print]

Opinion: redefining the role of the physician in laboratory medicine in the context of emerging technologies, personalised medicine and patient autonomy ('4P medicine').

Author information

1
Vinzenz von Paul Kliniken gGmbH, Institut für Laboratoriumsmedizin, Stuttgart, Germany.
2
Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim, Ruprecht Karls Universität, Mannheim, Germany.
3
Diagnostisk klinikk, Laboratoriemedisin, Universitessykehuset Nord-Norge HF, Tromsø, Norway.
4
Department of Clinical Microbiology and Medical Biopathology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School - Aeginition Hospital, Athens, Greece.
5
Laboratoire d'Immunologie, Pole Laboratoires, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nancy, Nancy, Lorraine, France.
6
Klinikum Wels - Grieskirchen GmbH, Institut für Medizinische und Chemische Labordiagnostik mit Blutbank, Wels, Austria.
7
Klinicki Zavod za Laboratorijsku Dijagnostiku, Klinicki Bolnicki Centar Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.
8
Department of Botelho Moniz Análises Clínicas, SA, Porto, Portugal.
9
Department of Clinical Immunology, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK.
10
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, Atrium Medical Center, PC Heerlen, Netherlands.
11
Department of Clinical Chemistry, Eastern Finland Laboratory Centre and University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
12
Department of Clinical Chemistry, St. Vincent's University Hospital/St Vincent's Group Healthcare Group, Dublin, Ireland.
13
School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
14
Klinikum Stuttgart, Zentrum für Diagnostik, Zentralinstitut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin, Stuttgart, Germany.

Abstract

The role of clinical pathologists or laboratory-based physicians is being challenged on several fronts-exponential advances in technology, increasing patient autonomy exercised in the right to directly request tests and the use of non-medical specialists as substitutes. In response, clinical pathologists have focused their energies on the pre-analytical and postanalytical phases of Laboratory Medicine thus emphasising their essential role in individualised medical interpretation of complex laboratory results. Across the European Union, the role of medical doctors is enshrined in the Medical Act. This paper highlights the relevance of this act to patient welfare and the need to strengthen training programmes to prevent an erosion in the quality of Laboratory Medicine provided to patients and their physicians.

KEYWORDS:

chemical pathology; laboratory management; medical education

PMID:
29273576
DOI:
10.1136/jclinpath-2017-204734
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Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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