The mystique of the mistake

With proposed standards for validating proficiency tests in anatomic pathology

S. F. Cramer, L. M. Roth, Thomas Ulbright, S. E. Mills, D. J. Gersell, F. T. Kraus, C. A. Nunez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variability in classification in anatomic pathology does not necessarily indicate that a mistake has been made. It is usually an artifact, created when pathologists choose a single category from among two or more justifiable alternatives. This is most common when standard classifications with uniform terminology are not used. It also can occur when classification systems are not constructed so as to insure mutual exclusivity of categories. It is proposed that a proficiency test in anatomic pathology should not be considered scientifically valid until a professional organization primarily concerned with anatomic pathology has endorsed its proposed classification system as having categories that are close to 100% mutually exclusive in the hands of expert pathologists not involved in developing the system. All possible precautions should be taken to insure that the ''right answers'' for any proficiency test are generated in a way that excludes the possibility of multiple justifiable alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-777
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Volume96
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pathology
Terminology
Artifacts
Pathologists

Keywords

  • Anatomic pathology
  • Bethesda system
  • Classification
  • Cytology
  • Proficiency test
  • Reproducibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Cramer, S. F., Roth, L. M., Ulbright, T., Mills, S. E., Gersell, D. J., Kraus, F. T., & Nunez, C. A. (1991). The mystique of the mistake: With proposed standards for validating proficiency tests in anatomic pathology. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 96(6), 774-777.

The mystique of the mistake : With proposed standards for validating proficiency tests in anatomic pathology. / Cramer, S. F.; Roth, L. M.; Ulbright, Thomas; Mills, S. E.; Gersell, D. J.; Kraus, F. T.; Nunez, C. A.

In: American Journal of Clinical Pathology, Vol. 96, No. 6, 1991, p. 774-777.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cramer, SF, Roth, LM, Ulbright, T, Mills, SE, Gersell, DJ, Kraus, FT & Nunez, CA 1991, 'The mystique of the mistake: With proposed standards for validating proficiency tests in anatomic pathology', American Journal of Clinical Pathology, vol. 96, no. 6, pp. 774-777.
Cramer, S. F. ; Roth, L. M. ; Ulbright, Thomas ; Mills, S. E. ; Gersell, D. J. ; Kraus, F. T. ; Nunez, C. A. / The mystique of the mistake : With proposed standards for validating proficiency tests in anatomic pathology. In: American Journal of Clinical Pathology. 1991 ; Vol. 96, No. 6. pp. 774-777.
@article{295b072adddf43fdbe68cc74aad5a5ca,
title = "The mystique of the mistake: With proposed standards for validating proficiency tests in anatomic pathology",
abstract = "Variability in classification in anatomic pathology does not necessarily indicate that a mistake has been made. It is usually an artifact, created when pathologists choose a single category from among two or more justifiable alternatives. This is most common when standard classifications with uniform terminology are not used. It also can occur when classification systems are not constructed so as to insure mutual exclusivity of categories. It is proposed that a proficiency test in anatomic pathology should not be considered scientifically valid until a professional organization primarily concerned with anatomic pathology has endorsed its proposed classification system as having categories that are close to 100{\%} mutually exclusive in the hands of expert pathologists not involved in developing the system. All possible precautions should be taken to insure that the ''right answers'' for any proficiency test are generated in a way that excludes the possibility of multiple justifiable alternatives.",
keywords = "Anatomic pathology, Bethesda system, Classification, Cytology, Proficiency test, Reproducibility",
author = "Cramer, {S. F.} and Roth, {L. M.} and Thomas Ulbright and Mills, {S. E.} and Gersell, {D. J.} and Kraus, {F. T.} and Nunez, {C. A.}",
year = "1991",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "96",
pages = "774--777",
journal = "American Journal of Clinical Pathology",
issn = "0002-9173",
publisher = "American Society of Clinical Pathologists",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The mystique of the mistake

T2 - With proposed standards for validating proficiency tests in anatomic pathology

AU - Cramer, S. F.

AU - Roth, L. M.

AU - Ulbright, Thomas

AU - Mills, S. E.

AU - Gersell, D. J.

AU - Kraus, F. T.

AU - Nunez, C. A.

PY - 1991

Y1 - 1991

N2 - Variability in classification in anatomic pathology does not necessarily indicate that a mistake has been made. It is usually an artifact, created when pathologists choose a single category from among two or more justifiable alternatives. This is most common when standard classifications with uniform terminology are not used. It also can occur when classification systems are not constructed so as to insure mutual exclusivity of categories. It is proposed that a proficiency test in anatomic pathology should not be considered scientifically valid until a professional organization primarily concerned with anatomic pathology has endorsed its proposed classification system as having categories that are close to 100% mutually exclusive in the hands of expert pathologists not involved in developing the system. All possible precautions should be taken to insure that the ''right answers'' for any proficiency test are generated in a way that excludes the possibility of multiple justifiable alternatives.

AB - Variability in classification in anatomic pathology does not necessarily indicate that a mistake has been made. It is usually an artifact, created when pathologists choose a single category from among two or more justifiable alternatives. This is most common when standard classifications with uniform terminology are not used. It also can occur when classification systems are not constructed so as to insure mutual exclusivity of categories. It is proposed that a proficiency test in anatomic pathology should not be considered scientifically valid until a professional organization primarily concerned with anatomic pathology has endorsed its proposed classification system as having categories that are close to 100% mutually exclusive in the hands of expert pathologists not involved in developing the system. All possible precautions should be taken to insure that the ''right answers'' for any proficiency test are generated in a way that excludes the possibility of multiple justifiable alternatives.

KW - Anatomic pathology

KW - Bethesda system

KW - Classification

KW - Cytology

KW - Proficiency test

KW - Reproducibility

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0026323103&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0026323103&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 96

SP - 774

EP - 777

JO - American Journal of Clinical Pathology

JF - American Journal of Clinical Pathology

SN - 0002-9173

IS - 6

ER -