The department of Pathology receives around 8000 surgical pathology specimens a year. SQUH is a tertiary hospital and referral center with highly specialized services including oncology care, hematology and transplantation services, many of the specimens received comprise complex resections, interventional biopsies and post neoadjuvant chemotherapy specimens. The department also receives fresh renal, skin, nerve and muscle biopsies from SQUH and other hospitals. With its high skilled biomedical scientists, the department can handle even the most technically challenging specimens. Faculty members provide sub specialized diagnostic reporting services with each member covering 2 to 3 subspecialties. These include GI pathology, breast pathology, hematopathology, thoracic pathology, head and neck pathology, renal pathology, bone and soft tissue pathology, gynecologic pathology, renal and transplant pathology, urologic pathology and neuropathology. They are also heavily engaged in the regular multidisciplinary meetings for patient management such as the oncology MDT, breast MDT, hematology MDT and renal biopsy MDT. They also participate in many interdepartmental clinicopathological rounds with pediatrics, internal medicine and surgery. Out of hours services are also available for urgent cases and frozen section.
The department processes around 4000 cytology specimens annually split between gyne cytology (thin prep) and non-gyne cytology. Experienced cytotechnologists provide rapid on site assessment (ROSA) in the radiology department for adequacy check of fine needle aspirates.
- Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Pathology:
The department offers a comprehensive range of immunohistochemical stains, immunofluorescence for renal and skin biopsies and enzyme histochemistry techniques for nerve and muscle biopsies. Our biomedical scientists are highly trained with experience in international centers. Molecular pathology includes in situ hybridization as well as immunostains for various molecular markers such as ALK and PD-L1. The department also receives many requests from other hospitals for various markers and for validation.
This is regarded as a University wide core facility and is a one of its kind in Oman. It is heavily involved in research but also provides regular diagnostic services to SQUH and other hospitals with a workload of around 350 samples a year. Electron microscopists routinely process and screen renal, cilia, blood, nerve and muscle biopsies for ultrastructural examination.
The mortuary provides facility for storage of bodies and embalming. No autopsies are performed.
Currently this section provides in situ hybridization facilities. The process of widening its range of tests for tumor diagnosis, particularly lymphomas, is in progress.
The department is subscribed to both technical and diagnostic external quality assurance programs. Staff training and development are an integral part of the department’s strategies. This is through conducting various workshops, CPD activities and sending staff for overseas training.
Faculty members and biomedical scientists are actively engaged in teaching students of the following degree programs/courses:
- M.D: Phase I, II, III. Faculty members contribute to each of the system-based modules through lectures, practicals and tutorials. They are also involved in coordinating some of these courses.
- B.Sc. Biomedical sciences program. Both Pathologists and Biomedical scientists are involved in several courses.
- Histopathology Residents of Oman Medical Specialty Board. In addition, the department receives Residents from the Hematopathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Dermatology programs.
- Clinical attachment and observerships. The department Omani BMS graduates and students as well as medical doctors and qualified pathologist. This is arranged through the Directorate of Training SQUH.
Faculty members as well as biomedical scientists are actively engaged in research. This is in the form of student research supervision, collaborative projects with other centers and colleges as well as funded projects through attaining grants. Faculty regularly represent the department at International conferences through abstract presentations.
The Department of Pathology community services include school visiting program, workshops, contribution to committees and contribution to national campaigns/events. The Department regularly welcomes high school level students who visit the facility. During the visit, students are acquainted with the wider scope of Medicine as a profession and the specific role played by Pathology. A dedicated team of faculty and biomedical scientists demonstrate the handling of human tissues for diagnosis of disease, illustrate the impact of disease on organs through museum specimens and the world of microscopy through the specialized Electron Microscope.
A dedicated team of coordinators ensures timely generation of patient reports, compiling cases for MDTs, overseeing the shipping and receiving of patient material and reports and maintenance of all-important records. They also ensure smooth running of the teaching program through making necessary booking arrangements and notifications.