How Our Practice of Histopathology, Especially Tumour Pathology has Changed in the Last Two Decades: Reflections from a Major Referral Center in Pakistan


Continued advances in the field of histo pathology (and cyto pathology) over the past two decades have resultedin dramatic changes in the manner in which these disciplines are now practiced. This is especially true in thesetting of a large university hospital where the role of pathologists as clinicians (diagnosticians), undergraduateand postgraduate educators, and researchers has evolved considerably. The world around us has changedsignificantly during this period bringing about a considerable change in our lifestyles and the way we live. This isthe world of the internet and the world-wide web, the world of Google and Wikipedia, of Youtube and Facebookwhere anyone can obtain any information one desires at the push of a button. The practice of histo (and cyto)pathology has also evolved in line with these changes. For those practicing this discipline in a poor, developingcountry these changes have been breathtaking. This is an attempt to document these changes as experiencedby histo (and cyto) pathologists practicing in the biggest center for Histopathology in Pakistan, a developingcountry in South Asia with a large (180 million) and ever growing population. The Section of Histopathology,Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Karachi, Pakistan’slargest city has since its inception in the mid-1980s transformed the way histopathology is practiced in Pakistanby incorporating modern methods and rescuing histopathology in Pakistan from the primitive and outdatedgroove in which it was stuck for decades. It set histopathology in Pakistan firmly on the path of modernity andchange which are essential for better patient management and care through accurate and complete diagnosisand more recently prognostic and predictive information as well.