The aim of this multisite quality improvement study was to evaluate patients’ experiences with the patient-centered pathology (PCP) consultation program and to determine whether PCP enhanced their care experience.
Patients were invited to attend PCP consultations to review their pathology report and slides and have their questions answered by the pathologist privately, with the option to attend the appointment with family members or friends for support. A patient experience questionnaire (PEQ) was administered to patients, who participated voluntarily in the PCP, and survey data were collected and stored in REDCap. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS 9.4 (SAS Institute).
Sixty-seven patients (95.5% female) aged 18 to 84 years across 4 institutions completed the PEQ. Overall, 58% and 15.8% of patients had breast and brain tumors, respectively, and 59.7% of tumors were newly diagnosed. Most patients thought it was important for them to learn as much as they could about their health condition. However, the majority of patients reported some degree of difficulty learning about their health condition based on written information, despite 97% having completed high school and/or further education. The majority of patients rated their pathologist as “excellent” across communication metrics. Ultimately, 100% of respondents were satisfied, found their visits to be useful, and would recommend the PCP to other patients.
Patients found that personalized clinical encounters with pathologists improved their understanding of their health condition and their satisfaction with their care experience. Patients thought pathologists communicated respectfully, effectively, and empathetically.

© American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2020. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: