Pathology Clinical Services

Pathology involves studying samples of cells, body fluids or tissues to determine if disease is present or likely to be in the future. Mount Sinai’s pathologists are board certified MDs and/or PhDs, who examine tissues or run laboratory tests and deliver diagnostic reports to your clinical physician. Mount Sinai’s Lillian and Henry M. Stratton-Hans Popper Pathology Department has vast breadth and depth that includes the traditional specialties of anatomical and clinical pathology, as well as the added value of pathologists who sub-specialize in distinct clinical areas or organ systems. For example, an anatomical pathologist can specialize not only in surgical pathology, but also, more specifically, in breast pathology. This high level of specialization allows individual pathologists to become focused experts in their field. 

We also offer additional arms of pathology that include experimental pathology devoted to translating research into cures and the new and burgeoning field of molecular pathology.

Anatomical Pathology 

Anatomical pathologists make their diagnoses by virtue of visual examination of tissue or cells which are obtained in a wide variety of ways. One common means of tissue or cell extraction is the biopsy. A biopsy can be performed with a thin needle that pulls or aspirates cells and fluid out of the body; a scalpel, or other medical cutting or shaving devices that cuts larger sections of tissue from the body; or by using a medical spatula to scrap cells away from the body for examination. Data or information gathered from these samples assists the anatomical pathologist with biomarkers and his or her human judgments in order to determine the most accurate diagnosis. A common example of this is the gynecological Pap cytology test used to detect cancerous or pre-cancerous cells in women.

Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine 

Clinical pathologists utilize laboratory testing and analysis to formulate their diagnoses. A clinical pathologist is an interpreter of biochemical tests or other assays that often result in numerical values. Body fluids such as blood, urine or cerebrospinal fluid tend to fall under the purview of clinical pathology. There are literally thousands of different tests run by clinical pathologists and the list is growing as new technology is developed that allows for faster and more accurate diagnostic results. Mount Sinai runs more than eight million clinical pathology tests each year and our clinical pathologists are all board certified in their area of specialty. 

Specialized areas of clinical pathology include hematology (the study of blood), microbiology (the study of microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria that can cause infectious disease), and immunology (the study of the structure and function of the immune system).

Learn more about Laboratory Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Molecular Pathology and Genetics in Pathology 

Progress in experimental pathology and genomics has led to a new division of pathology, called molecular pathology. Molecular pathologists specialize in studying disease below the cellular level, examining individual molecules or groups of molecules to make a diagnosis, chart the course of a disease, or help predict future disease development. One example of molecular pathology is genetic testing on the human papillomavirus (HPV) to determine the likelihood of future cervical cancer. Strains not associated with future malignancy require less aggressive treatment, or even no treatment. Learn more about molecular pathology

While aspects of molecular pathology do cross over between anatomic and clinical pathology, Mount Sinai recognizes the increasing specialization of this field and has recently appointed a separate Vice Chair to oversee their division of molecular pathology.

Learn more about Molecular Pathology at Mount Sinai.

Specialization and Integration Under One Roof 

Mount Sinai’s Pathology Department offers exquisite specialization combined with exceptional integration of services for a higher standard of care. Our Pathology Department has a vast array of expertise and specialization necessary to deliver high-end medicine to patients. Equally important, we’ve also committed ourselves to a rigorous multidisciplinary approach to ensure excellent communication between our departments and continual interaction with clinical physicians to deliver the highest standard of care and integrative medicine. This innovative approach means we are able to give your doctor one cohesive meaningful report and decrease inter-department fragmentation, while offering the most accurate diagnosis possible and critical information regarding the predictive course of your health.