How Medical Research Is Translated Into Improved Patient Care

January 2, 2019

Synopsis: For 32 years Helen was a surgical pathologist at New York University Medical Center. Her laboratory provided diagnostic services to patients during surgery in the hospital, in affiliated clinics, and in doctors’ offices. Acting in this capacity, the pathologist is often referred to as “the physician’s physician”; we don’t see patients, rather our service yields important information to the doctors who provide patient care.

Being in an academic setting, she also had a mandate to do medical research (publish or perish!). Nowadays medical research requires a collaborative team approach. For 15 years she did research on kidney disease. Her team consisted of two pathologists, and internist, a pediatrician, three nephrologists, a urologist and a dialysis physician. For a subsequent 15 years my research was on breast cancer and her team included three surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, a pathologist, a geneticist, and an endocrinologist. This switch in her research focus followed a year’s sabbatical at the Rockefeller University. 

She’ll use these experiences to illustrate how medical research translates into improved patient care.