BLOOD WORK: Grafton Hospital pathology laboratory manager Charles Chegwidden and his team celebrated International Pathology Day yesterday.
BLOOD WORK: Grafton Hospital pathology laboratory manager Charles Chegwidden and his team celebrated International Pathology Day yesterday. Jenna Thompson

Pathology under international microscope

THOSE with a special interest in bodily tissue and fluids were celebrating today to mark the third year of International Pathology Day.

Since its inception, pathologists have played an increasingly vital role in the diagnosis and research of a wide variety of diseases.

"We do testing of all types of body samples such as blood, tissue, urine and other substances,” Grafton Hospital pathology laboratory manager Charles Chegwidden said.

"My favourite discipline in pathology is haematology, where we look at diagnosing things like leukaemia.”

Mr Chegwidden said he wanted to get into a medical career, but never considered pathology until he reached tertiary study.

"I was looking for something practical that was science-based,” he said.

"When I found out about the existence of pathology, I started out studying some courses at TAFE and then studied a degree at Charles Sturt University.”

Mr Chegwidden said that there are plenty of options to get into pathology that didn't require the years of training other medical degrees demand.

"There are diploma courses at TAFE or degree courses at university to work in pathology.”

PATHOLOGY FACTS

  • A technique which was developed in 2014 in Queensland uses venom from the Coastal Taipan or Eastern Brown Snakes to perform blood tests for patients on anticoagulant medications.
  • While the pap smear was developed by Georgios Papanicolaou, it was his wife, Mary who was his first subject - having a cervical smear every day for 21 years!
  • Urine analysis was pioneered by Thomas Willis in the 1600s. He was the first to notice the characteristic sweet taste of urine from patients with diabetes.

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