Laboratory Administration
Leading / Interfacing
Leading in the laboratory

Author: Richard Horowitz, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 25 January 2017, last major update April 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: laboratory leadership[title]
Cite this page: Leading in the laboratory. website. Accessed December 14th, 2018.
  • Pathologists, unlike other physicians, are responsible for the quality of work of large numbers of others, including phlebotomists, technicians, technologists, doctoral level scientists as well as transcriptionists and clerical personnel
  • This staff produces much of the work output of the laboratory without direct, personal oversight of each procedure or test by the pathologist
  • Thus the pathologist, who has both the operational and legal responsibility for the laboratory's work, has to be a true leader who inspires, serves as a role model, and motivates the staff to attain the highest levels of ethical and conscientious performance
  • Know the basic principles of management & administration: planning, leading, organizing and controlling
  • Assure productive work and worker achievement
  • Be competent in the technical aspects of anatomic and clinical pathology
  • Know employees by name, know something about their personal lives and respect their worth
  • Be able to communicate the clinical significance of test results to laboratory staff and to demonstrate the importance of their work in patient care
Some Things to Do
  • Construct and display an organizational chart that clarifies authority and reporting relationships
  • Make work relevant and meaningful by involving employees in decision making when appropriate
  • Make daily "rounds" in each section of the laboratory, greeting each employee by name, getting a sense of the workload, staffing, any problems or interesting cases; don't neglect the evening, graveyard or weekend shifts, surprise them with occasional donuts or pizzas
  • Participate in the special activities of the lab staff, including social events