The pathologist in Ghana and potential for research
One of the neglected areas of clinical medical practice in developing countries is the field of Laboratory Medicine.
As a result, the important role of the laboratory physician in diagnosis of disease and subsequent management of patients
is not much appreciated. Even more worrying is lack of appreciation of the research potential of laboratory medicine, considering that it provides a repository of confirmatory data on many human disorders; data that have been usefully employed for the study of various diseases in developed parts of the world. It is perhaps, the reason that many diseases peculiar to developing countries still remain untamed. My experience in the practice of anatomical pathology in several countries has taught me that the specialty, as with other specialties of laboratory medicine in
Ghana needs more attention, with regards to its development to the level where it can meet its clinical functions satisfactorily.
When this is ensured, it would also provide the necessary vital contribution to research that has characterised its practice in more advanced countries. More exposure of the specialty to undergraduate medical students must be encouraged in order to attract trainees into the specialty. Along with this exposure must go an increase in infrastructure and the necessary facilities to permit growth of the specialty. Research potential of the specialty must be harnessed and fully supported financially to help in unravelling peculiar disease problems of our locality. To achieve this, I have re-emphasised the need for a special fund to drive scientific research in Ghana.
Keywords: Pathologist, Laboratory Physician, Research, Funding.
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