Sunday, February 4, 2007

Why would you want to do that?

When I grow up I want to be a pathologist. People hear what I "want to be when I grow up" and they usually ask "Why would you want to do that?" I'm focusing my observational essay on the Pathology department at the University Hospital to hopefully answer that question for people.
With the subject I picked, my audience could have a little trouble understanding some things about it. One problem would definitely be the terminology. There are some good websites to help with understanding the medical "lingo"(Click here to see site- this would be a good place to review after reading the essay, but I'll try not to use too much, if I can help it.) Another thing you may need to understand is my attitude towards pathology. Most people hear this word and think "dead people." This is a big part of it, but pathology is also what diagnoses diseases in live people as well. The pathologist is the person who ultimately diagnoses cancer. They help save people before it gets too far, and I just want to help people in these ways.
I'll admit when I hear forensic pathologist, the first thing I think of is a dark, neon lit basement, with dripping pipes and a musky smell. I'm sure other people think this way too. Some mad scientist cutting up dead bodies, but I expect for it to be very different in real life. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be some cadavers involved, but I don't think it will be that much. I believe, from what I've researched, that the majority of a pathologists time is spent in a lab, looking through a microscope, analyzing things on a cellular level.
Another misconception that has come up recently is that forensic pathology is like the popular T.V. show: C.S.I.I would love it if the city actually had the money to provide the high-tech labs they have in that show. In reality, a lot of tests have to be sent to different labs around the country, because no one can afford the machinery to do all the tests at one location. There will be some high-tech stuff, but not to the extent in that show.
I hope that in reading this post some things will be cleared up, and some views may change before reading my essay. If any other questions come up in reading, a great website to answer medical questions is Web MD.


Michelle Brake said...

Thanks for clearly portraying the pathology career as it is. I know shows can really sensationalize a lot of professions and pathology especially. I've never really thought of that profession as creepy really, but maybe that's why I always enjoyed the dissections in my biology classes. I can see why it would be a very interesting field to work in. I think your links will be really helpful for anyone reading your upcoming essay. Those terms can be really hard to understand. Your writing was very connected and interesting to read.

KiahWallace said...

To be truthful I had no idea what a pathologist was, let alone what one does, before I read your blog. Now that I know what it is i want to know more about it. However you painted some colorful pictures of misconseptions and it does seem a bit creepy. But I guess once you get used to being around dead bodies. Are you sure you're not a mad scientist? No night of the living dead stuff O.K. I look forward to reading the completed essay.