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Journey Of A Specimen

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your specimen after they are collected, this is the blog for you! The following is an explanation of what happens to your specimen and the journey it takes. First, lab couriers pick samples up from the medical facility and transport them to Clinical Pathology Associates, or CPA. CPA, which includes surgical pathology, accessioning, and cytology is the first place of contact for incoming specimens varying from urine for cytology, various fluids, Pap smears, and patient tissue samples. Thousands of specimens pass through CPA each year.

Once specimens arrive at CPA, each specimen sample is verified and given an accession number for tracking purposes. Next, the samples are taken to the grossing in area and processed by a Pathologist’s Assistant or tech. The PA’s gross description of each specimen will be given to the transcription department who types up the dictation of the specimen.

Meanwhile the specimen is processed overnight and given to our pathologists for review and diagnosis the next day. Transcription will type a report according to the pathologist’s diagnosis that will be sent to the medical facility and then shared with the patient.


- Surgical pathology, the study of tissues removed from patients during a surgical procedure to help diagnose a disease or determine a treatment plan.

- In the accessioning part of the process, specimens are received, sorted, and given a number before being processed.

- Cytology, the study of the microscopic appearance of cells, especially for the diagnosis of abnormalities and malignancies.

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