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The role of the physician in laboratory medicine: a European perspective
  1. Siraj A Misbah1,
  2. Vana Kokkinou2,
  3. Katie Jeffery3,
  4. Wytze Oosterhuis4,
  5. Brian Shine5,
  6. Anna Schuh6,
  7. Theodore Theodoridis2
  1. 1Department of Clinical Immunology, Oxford University Hospitals, John Radcliffe Campus, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Haematology Laboratory, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece
  3. 3Department of Microbiology, Oxford University Hospitals, John Radcliffe Campus, Oxford, UK
  4. 4Department of Clinical Chemistry, Atrium Medical Center, Heerlen, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Biochemistry, Oxford University Hospitals, John Radcliffe Campus, Oxford, UK
  6. 6Department of Haematology, Oxford University Hospitals, John Radcliffe Campus, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Siraj A Misbah, Department of Clinical Immunology, Oxford University Hospitals, Academic Street, Level 4A, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; Siraj.misbah{at}ouh.nhs.uk

Abstract

Advances in medical laboratory technology have driven major changes in the practice of laboratory medicine over the past two decades by the development of automated, cross-disciplinary single platform analysers. This has led to the blurring of boundaries between traditional disciplines and the emergence of core automated or blood science laboratories. This paper was commissioned by the Union of European Medical Specialists to examine the changing role of laboratory-based physicians in the light of these advances by focusing on the added value of expert interpretation of test results and resultant improvements in clinical outcomes. The paper also considers the broad range of responsibilities of laboratory-based physicians and the difficulties in precisely measuring how this translates into improved clinical outcomes. Given its provenance, the paper concentrates predominantly on the role of laboratory-based physicians while acknowledging the essential and vital role of scientists in running diagnostic laboratory services.

  • Diagnostics
  • Education
  • Quality Assurance

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