2017 Annual Meeting

SC04-Autopsy in the 21st Century: An Update for Pathologists Performing Hospital Autopsies Today

March 9 2017, 8:00am to 11:30am


SC04-Autopsy in the 21st Century: An Update for Pathologists Performing Hospital Autopsies Today

Session Credits: 3 CME and 3 SAMs

Faculty: Jody E. Hooper, MD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD and Alex K. Williamson, MD, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Long Island, NY

Most pathologists tasked with performing autopsies in an academic or community practice have to rely on skills they learned in residency, and continuing medical educational opportunities in autopsy pathology have been scarce. Costs of providing hospital autopsy services are usually absorbed by a healthcare institution or system, and consequently it has become vitally important for pathologists to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of an autopsy service in todays healthcare environment. Autopsy practice in the modern era can complement advances in medicine; for example, molecular testing of postmortem samples can contribute to accurate diagnoses, benefit living relatives, and help researchers unravel pathways in neoplasia. This course is designed to reinforce, update, and advance participants knowledge of and ability to practice hospital autopsy pathology. The course will review a wide range of topics including diagnostic discrepancy rates, options for assigning value to the professional component of autopsy pathology, and the intersection of hospital autopsies with the medicolegal realm. Updates on special dissections, appropriate use and performance of postmortem testing, and procurement of tissue for research protocols will be presented. Case examples will be used to illustrate ways in which pathologists can thoughtfully compose autopsy reports, effectively communicate with clinicians, families, and lawyers, and successfully incorporate autopsy data into quality improvement initiatives. This course is designed for general and subspecialty pathologists instructing, performing, signing out, and consulting in autopsy pathology, pathology residents and interested medical students, as well as medical researchers interested in the utilization of postmortem tissue. Pre-registrants will be able to view case histories and electronic images of the study cases, including corresponding gross and microscopic pathology, prior to the meeting on the USCAP website. A comprehensive syllabus will be available online prior to the course. After the meeting, all course registrants will have access to the PowerPoint presented at the Annual Meeting along with the text portion of the syllabus on the USCAP website.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand how current autopsy trends, hospital autopsy rates, and diagnostic discrepancy rates can help inform and shape clinical care, quality assurance programs, and medical education
  2. Effectively compose autopsy reports and communicate the findings with clinicians, families, and lawyers
  3. Consider ways to assign professional value for time spent engaged with autopsy pathology
  4. Perform a complete, competent, and thoughtful autopsy, including appropriate and optimal specimen collection for ancillary testing and research protocols.


view more