Dr. Mark Stoler, in his “Attack of the pods” commentary (Aug. 2, p. 24), has painted a fairly stark picture of physician office laboratories as marginal endeavors, working in a “Wild West-like,” poorly regulated environment to perform substandard work, all for the benefit of entrepreneurial physicians who have no interest in quality patient care. While some laboratories of this nature may exist, we would argue that when true professionals work together, a quality service can be provided in the physician office laboratory environment.
It is our opinion that organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology and College of American Pathologists do a disservice when they tar all physician office laboratories. Interprofessional squabbles do not promote “best case” results. A better approach would be to work with the physician office laboratories to study what makes a laboratory of this nature produce quality outcomes.
Lester J. Raff Laboratory medical director UroPartners
President Pathology Associates of Northern Illinois
Richard Harris Managing partner
UroPartners Westchester, Ill.