The dermatopathology unit is integrated with the clinical services at the Foundation and is specialised in the diagnosis of inflammatory skin diseases and particularly in the analysis of alopecia.
Weekly sessions are held for dermatology registrars at the Foundation and from regional teaching hospitals and the main aim is to provide a sound background in understanding and evaluating biopsy reports when these registrars commence in practice.
Monthly clinical sessions provide an opportunity to review problematical cases which require further indepth analysis. Patients are reviewed clinically by consultants and registrars and subsequent discussion is focused on coupling the clinical features with biopsy findings as well as formulating recommendations as to management.
The unit also has daily reviews of biopsies that have equivocal or unusual findings with all the pathologists around a multi-headed microscope. This has enhanced the unit’s capacity to provide the best reports to our referring dermatologists and also to seek further consultative opinions when required.
The dermatopathology department participates in regular external quality assurance programmes provided by the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists and the American Society of Dermatopathology both in diagnostic proficiency and meeting technical standards in laboratory methods.