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Cytology & Cytopathology Expert Witnesses

The medical expertise needed for successful malpractice cases

Cytopathology is the study and diagnosis of diseases at the cellular level. Cytopathology is a specialty within pathology that focuses on diagnosing human diseases through body secretions and fluids, such as by scraping, washing, or sponging the surface of a lesion or aspirating a tumor or organ with a needle. Perhaps the most familiar part of a cytopathologist’s practice is the interpretation of Papanicolaou-stained smears (“Pap smears”) from female reproductive organs.

In the United States, cytopathologists must hold a medical degree and complete a residency in pathology or a related field. They then must complete a one-year fellowship in cytopathology, focusing on the interpretation of cells and fluids from various organs and systems. Cytopathologists are Board-Certified by the American Board of Pathology (ABP).

What is cytopathology malpractice?

Cytopathologists primarily work in diagnosis, so most instances of medical negligence by a cytopathologist are diagnostic errors. However, some general examples of cytopathology malpractice may include:

  • Misinterpreting or misclassifying a sample, resulting in a false-negative or false-positive result.
  • Failing to detect cancerous cells in a sample, leading to a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer.
  • Failing to communicate results to the patient or the treating physician in a timely manner.
  • Failing to follow established protocols for sample collection, preparation, and analysis, leading to inaccurate results.
  • Failing to recognize or report abnormalities or significant findings in a sample.
  • Failing to consult with other specialists or seek additional opinions when necessary.

Cases involving misdiagnosis require significant medical expertise to litigate. It’s not enough to show that the diagnosis was incorrect; it’s necessary to show that the cytopathologist failed to follow standards of care in conducting a test or interpreting test results. The role of an experienced, Board-Certified expert witness in such cases is critical.

We can find the cytopathology expert witness you need

Cytopathology misdiagnosis cases, especially those involving misdiagnosis of cancer or another life-threatening disease, often come down to a “battle of the experts.” Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants includes highly credible, Board-Certified physicians prepared to testify in hearings, depositions, and at trial if necessary. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team about your potential case.

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