For Patients

For Patients

We welcome this opportunity to be part of your health care.

Pathologists provide a wide variety of health care services, including examination of tissues from biopsies, surgical resections, cytology specimens, and body fluids, providing precise and accurate diagnoses. Pathologists can also perform biopsies of some lesions with rapid on-site diagnosis in the Fine Needle Aspiration Clinic. Post-mortem examinations performed by our Autopsy Service can find diseases that were not apparent during life. Laboratory evaluation of blood samples is also performed within the Duke Pathology Department.

Duke Pathologists are available to review patient slides to provide a second opinion regarding pathology diagnoses, and we have consultants with expertise in all areas of pathology. There are many reasons why you might have a second opinion on your pathology. If you are being referred to a doctor at Duke, your doctor may ask for a second opinion on your pathology. This is because it is critically important that you have the correct diagnosis before any treatment is given. If you are not a patient at Duke, you can still receive a second opinion from the Duke Department of Pathology by asking your pathologist or any of your other physicians to request a second opinion by completing our consultation request form. You can print out our consultation form for the physician to complete, or tell him or her that the form is available on our website. You can also have them contact our Consultative Services Office.

If you are interested in requesting an autopsy for your family member, please refer to the FAQs on the Autopsy Service page.

Here are some links from the College of American Pathologists and American Cancer Society that help to explain the role of a pathologist in your health care, and how to interpret your pathology report: