Helping to Answer Your Questions.
WHAT IS A PATHOLOGIST?
Pathologists are licensed Medical Doctors (M.D.) or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Pathologists complete a 4-year undergraduate degree program and 4 years of medical school. After medical school, Pathologists enter a 4-5 year residency program, typically in 2 specialties: Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology.
Following a pathology residency program, Pathologists can spend an additional 1-3 years in fellowship training, concentrating their study in a more specialized field of pathology. Fellowships can include: surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematopathology, dermatopathology, microbiology, blood bank/transfusion medicine and clinical chemistry.
Pathologists are considered Board Certified by passing an examination from the American Board of Pathology. All of UPSI's Pathologists are board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, or Dermatopathology. In addition, we employ Pathologists who have specialty training in cytopathology, hematopathology, and gastrointestinal pathology.
WHY AM I RECEIVING A BILL FROM UPSI?
Your referring medical provider chose our team of Pathologists because they trust our diagnostic skill and experience. Furthermore, your referring provider sent your specimens, tissue samples or pap smears to us to be reviewed and make diagnostic interpretations. The results are reported back to your referring provider, and UPSI submits the billing portion of your procedure through Change Healthcare.
Our Pathologists interpret Pap tests, biopsies and other sub-specialty specimens from from 5 hospitals and a multitude of other physician practices throughout Utah and the Intermountain West.
WHY IS TESTING NEEDED?
A doctor may order a specimen test or biopsy when, during a physical examination or imaging appointment, an area appears to be abnormal. A biopsy is a tissue sample taken from the body to be examined more closely, such as from a lesion or tumor. Most biopsies are performed to look for various types of cancer, but there are many other conditions that can be identified with a biopsy. Based on pathology test results, your doctor can determine the best course of treatment for you.
HOW CAN I ACCESS MY MEDICAL RECORDS?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information (PHI). In compliance with HIPAA, Utah Pathology Services, Inc. cannot grant patients immediate access to reports by any method, direct or indirect. To better access your pathology report, please contact your physician directly.
ALL OF THESE MEDICAL TERMS ARE CONFUSING. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT BIOPSIES ARE AND HOW THEY'RE TESTED?
There are many different types of biopsies—for example, a skin biopsy, prostate biopsy, or a fine needle aspiration (FNA), which occurs when a needle draws out material from a mass like in a breast or lymph node. The most common reason for a biopsy is to evaluate the presence or absence of cancer. However, a biopsy can also be used to detect other forms of disease, bacteria, virus, or fungus.
A surgical biopsy is placed in a fixative solution called formalin (a mixture of formaldehyde and water), labeled, and sent to a pathology lab with a requisition form, where your tissue specimen undergoes a series of processes for testing:
Trained technicians enter your data from the requisition form into a specialized electronic medical records (EMR) system. The Pathologist and his or her trained assistants then describe and dissect the tissue, and photograph relevant disease in a specially equipped pathology room called a 'Gross Room'. In pathology, “gross” means to observe without a microscope. Selected representative tissue specimens are then placed in specialized color coded containers for overnight processing in a fixative solution that hardens and preserves the tissue.
Histotechs cut micro-thin sections of tissue using an instrument called a microtome in the Histology Lab. They then place these sections on a microscope slide, followed by staining, or dying, the micro-thin sections to make the tissue more visible under the microscope.
Different stains highlight different tissue components (nuclei, muscle, etc.) or micro-organisms (bacteria, fungus). The most widely used stain is a hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) stain, which produces varying shades of pink and blue in tissue samples.
Unlike Histology (the microscopic study of body tissue), Cytology is the microscopic examination of cells from fluids, scrapings, and aspirations, such as fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies. Common fine needle aspiration biopsy sites include lymph nodes, breast, and thyroids.
The stained tissue slide is then read under a microscope by a pathologist looking for abnormalities. The pathologist will make a diagnosis and inform your doctor whether there is a presence or absence of disease.
CAN I HAVE MY SPECIMENS BACK?
We are not able to return specimens or tissue samples because the chemicals used to process your specimen can be unsafe if not handled properly.