In contemporary society, the pathologist is largely unknown or poorly understood. Accordingly, few lay persons, whether healthy or ill, have direct professional interaction with pathologists.1 If a poll of the lay public were undertaken, many would respond that the pathologist is “not a physician,” “the keeper of the dead,” or “the person who performs the autopsy.” Certainly, the portrayal of the pathologist in printed press, cinema, and television, notably in the popular Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) television series, is frequently a distortion of reality.2
Published in the December 2, 1905, issue of JAMA.
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