The following is the American Society of Hematology's statement of the elements of training and certification required for the American hematologist, and the professional expertise that defines all hematologists. In doing so, the Society acknowledges that no area of knowledge is the exclusive province of a particular medical subspecialty. However, those areas of knowledge and expertise that are to be expected in physicians who have trained in hematology are described.
The American Hematologist
A hematologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and/or investigation of disorders of the hematopoietic, hemostatic, and lymphatic systems, and disorders of the interaction between blood and blood vessel wall. An American hematologist has trained in a subspecialty program approved by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Pediatrics, or has acquired a comparable education in the field by alternate means, and is Board Certified (or eligible) in the subspecialty of hematology.
Diagnostic Expertise of a Hematologist
A hematologist is expert in the investigation, diagnosis, and management of disorders of the aforementioned organ systems through the use of the medical history, physical findings, specialized clinical laboratory tests, and evaluation of tissue or cytological specimens. Clinical entities considered specific to the specialty of hematology include disorders of the structure, function, and physiology of red and white blood cells and platelets, disorders of hemostatic system regulation or function, and benign and malignant disorders of the bone marrow and lymphoreticular system. Hematologists also evaluate and manage systemic disorders and other poorly understood diseases that clinically present as abnormalities of the aforementioned organ systems.
Therapeutic Expertise of a Hematologist
In addition to therapeutic measures common to all medical specialists, therapies in the following areas are considered specific to the expertise of a hematologist:
- Blood products and derivatives
- Blood processing
- Chemotherapy and other anti-tumor agents
- Supportive care (including pain management)
- Anticoagulants and antithrombotic agents
- Progenitor cell therapies (including stem cell therapies)
Investigative/Educational/Administrative Expertise of a Hematologist
Training in hematology equips the hematologist to focus efforts on clinical investigative, epidemiological, or research laboratory-based approaches to issues and processes that bear directly or indirectly on disorders and therapies referred to above. In addition, the expertise of the hematologist provides the basis for medical or administrative leadership of clinical laboratory organizations related to the above (e.g. clinical and special hematology laboratories, coagulation laboratories, blood banks, or related entities). Hematologists are especially qualified to conduct or participate in educational programs related to their areas of expertise for physicians, students, and other health-care workers.
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