Critical Values is the go-to resource for the entire laboratory team, providing insight and information on the latest research, information, and issues within pathology and laboratory medicine. The print and online magazine invites submissions on topics including, but not limited to, advocacy, education, technology, global health, workforce, workplace best practices, and leadership.
E. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM
Chief Executive Officer
Molly Strzelecki Editor
Susan Montgomery Contributing Editor
Martin Tyminski Creative Director
Jennifer Brinson Art Direction and Design
For Gaurav Sharma, MD, Medical Director of Regional Laboratories and Point-of-Care Testing at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, his career in pathology started as a family affair. His father, a pathologist for more than four decades, inspired Dr. Sharma to go into pathology, but what keeps him captivated about the field is the ability to be a detective in the medical world, underscoring pathology’s vital role in collaborating with other specialties, and the value pathology adds to the health of our societies. He shares his thoughts on challenges he sees facing the laboratory, lessons learned, and more.
In the realm of healthcare laboratories, we confront numerous challenges. Meeting the increasing demand for diagnostic services while maintaining quality standards is paramount. Staying abreast of medical advancements and adhering to regulations are vital. Amidst these obstacles, staffing shortages and recruitment difficulties pose significant hurdles. Attracting and retaining qualified laboratory professionals requires targeted recruitment, professional development opportunities, and fostering a supportive work environment. Addressing these challenges fortifies our laboratory and ensures exceptional patient care.
I've gained valuable insights through my volunteer experiences, both within and outside of the ASCP. One crucial lesson I've learned is the power of teamwork. Collaborating with diverse individuals on the ASCP Training Residents In Genomics (TRIG) project showcased the tremendous achievements that can be accomplished when we combine our strengths. Witnessing TRIG's positive impact on resident education in genomics was genuinely inspiring. Next, the value of fellowship within groups and the significance of professionals volunteering for associations cannot be overstated. Joining committees fosters camaraderie, support, and a shared sense of purpose. As a member of the ASCP CheckPath committee, I had the opportunity to connect with like-minded experts, learning from them during each meeting. Additionally, I've learned about the value of advocacy and outreach. Publications like ASCP's Critical Values serve as platforms for continuous learning, enabling the pathologist and laboratory professional community to stay informed and engage in meaningful discussions. These lessons continue to shape my approach to my practice.
To make meaningful improvements within the profession, a few key areas will evolve in the coming years. Firstly, fostering more vital collaboration among different healthcare professionals is crucial. Pathologists can enhance diagnostic accuracy and test selection strategies by working closely with clinicians and leveraging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, leading to better patient outcomes. Additionally, integrating digital pathology systems will continue to assist slide interpretation and enable remote consultations, improving efficiency and access to expertise. Secondly, optimizing workflow processes through automation and standardized protocols can alleviate the workload burden on pathologists, allowing them to focus on complex cases and research endeavors. Lastly, raising public awareness about the vital role of pathologists and laboratory professionals in healthcare is essential. Educating the public about their expertise and contributions can foster trust, empower patients, and elevate the profession's status. These changes have the potential to transform the field of clinical pathology.