As the new Chairman of the Department of Pathology at UTMB as of July, 2014, I am delighted to build on the decades of scientific contributions of this department in the area of infectious disease that arose from the strong leadership of Dr. David H. Walker.
In the coming years, our clinical service lines of anatomic pathology and laboratory medicine will take a new approach to the provision of data for our clinicians. Information will come from our diagnostic experts in anatomic and clinical pathology as a personalized, expert driven narrative about the differential diagnosis for a patient evaluation. We will provide such information in all areas of diagnostic pathology. In addition, we will develop personalized interpretations that are disease-specific and have input not only from the pathologist, but also from investigators studying that particular disease. We will continuously develop and advance the initial concept of the diagnostic management team to maximize its positive clinical and financial impact.
Through these consultative interactions, pathology residents at UTMB will be exposed in real-time to active clinical cases and play a meaningful role in assisting clinicians in the selection and interpretation of laboratory tests. As this process is incorporated throughout the entire range of clinical services lines in pathology, residents graduating from our program will be uniquely qualified, as the world changes away from “payment per click” to payment for episode-of-care, to serve as real partners with treating physicians as they confidently provide valuable diagnostic information to their clinical peers in other medical disciplines.
UTMB has graduated many thousands of physicians over the years since it was created as the first medical school west of the Mississippi. Pathology plays an important role in the education of our medical students. We will teach our medical students about all diagnostic aspects of disease and not simply the anatomic pathology changes associated with disease. Our goal is to provide medical students who leave our institution enter into practice with a substantially greater knowledge about the appropriate tests needed for a diagnostic evaluation so that they can utilize the laboratory to generate accurate diagnoses quickly.
We will continue to be a leader in understanding the serious infectious diseases which take thousands of lives on our planet. Our solidly funded scientific programs in these areas will continue to make major contributions to the eradication of these terrible diseases. We are very interested in translating many of our findings in basic research into diagnostic assays that can be used for early identification of diseases, particularly for those infections where an early diagnosis can be lifesaving. We are striving to translate our significant research expertise in toxicology into clinical innovations that can be used to better identify and treat patients affected by many of the millions of toxicological compounds in our environment.
The years ahead will be exciting times for the Department of Pathology at UTMB and all those associated with its innovative activities. It is my expectation that these innovations in how we practice pathology will lead our specialty into this new era when institutional and patient expectations from pathology are extremely high.
Michael Laposata, M.D., Ph.D
Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology;
University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77555-0609
Office: (409) 772-3989
Fax: (409) 772-1850