Pathology Chair

Finding Our New Normal in 2021

It is a new year, and I'm tired of all-COVID all the time. My new year's resolution is to be normal again in 2021-even if this means finding a new normal.

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Pandemic Lessons from Charles Dickens

I think that Charles Dickens got it right. As the pandemic has unfolded, I’ve been drawn to remembrances of my high school reading list which included Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities.

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Going Outside the Comfort Zone

I never thought that in my almost-senior years I’d become a fisherwoman. I’m not outdoorsy, I don’t have many hobbies, and I’m actually rather boring.

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Unprecedented, Unpredictable and Preparing Once Again

I thought things would be different by now. I expected the heat of the summer would make the virus go back to wherever it came from, and we’d take our masks off, hug again, and have parties.

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What Does the Department Chair Do?

Sometimes I get asked what do I do as a department chair (on my more frustrating days, I even ask myself this same question).

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Generation COVID?

Every year, I look forward to medical school graduation — but this year, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, I wasn’t so sure. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around a “virtual” graduation.

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I'm Sick of My Sweatpants – and Other Reasons I'm Looking Forward to “Restore”

There used to be a sense of luxury associated with working from home – to avoid distraction and interruption, I’d enjoy the occasional escape from the busy surroundings...

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The Laboratory as a Leader During a Time of Crisis

In many ways the lab is an unlikely leader — behind the scenes and humble, filled with smart folks who lean more toward the introvert side, shun the spotlight, and who work hard to provide clinical tests for others.

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Pandemics, Preparedness, and Us

During the last few days of February, it was very strange to turn on the TV in the morning and see our medical center on the national news and for this coverage to continue over several days.

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Getting Respect

My blog is posted a bit late this month -- I’ve been thinking a lot about respect and a few disrespectful events that recently came to my attention.

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Higher, Faster, Stronger in 2020

We are starting the new year on a really bright note. At the very end of 2019, we received some lovely recognitions -- one big award, and several other small but powerful personal notes of thanks.

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Rediscovering Joy

It is holiday time, aka the happiest time of year. Yet before Thanksgiving, I will admit that I was feeling like a grinch — too much to do, too little time, and way too cranky.

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Reflections on Being a Patient

Last month I was on medical leave after a hip replacement. They say doctors make the worst patients – I don’t know if that’s true, but being on the other side is an interesting and humbling experience.

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The Past, Present, and Future: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

I’m delighted to share a presentation that I gave to my department on Sept. 30 as part of my 10-year chair review: “The Past, Present, and Future: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.”

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Sometimes We All Feel Like An Imposter

This is the time of year for new newcomers and new beginnings – between July and September, we welcome new medical students, house staff, faculty, and lots of clinical lab scientists.

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Is It Really the Start of Year 10??

Do you remember 2010? I can tell you exactly what I was doing – I was just appointed the chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine right here at UC Davis Health.

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Looking for a Good Vacation Read? It's the Pathology Summer Book List!

Summer is back and so is the department’s summer book list! I first shared recommended reads from department members in 2016 – after all, everyone is looking for a good book to take on vacation at this time of year.

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Feeling a Little Crabby?

I think that spring can be a kind of cranky, crabby time of year. That may seem strange since the weather gets warmer, the days are brighter and longer, and flowers and trees are in bloom.

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Why Do You Work Here – and Why For So Long?

Last month, we celebrated our profession — and importantly, our laboratory professionals — as part of National Lab Week.

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Reinventing Ourselves Through the Art of the Possible

I’ve often thought that a university and an academic health center are more than just places where talented faculty, healthcare professionals and biomedical scientists do their work.

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Are You Living Your Legacy?

Last month I attended our spring graduation and white coat induction ceremony for our spring clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) classes.

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Hospital or Hospitality – Which Industry Do We Work In?

I often joke that running a clinical laboratory is a lot like being in the hotel business – our clients are just as hard to please.

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What Are You Looking Forward to in 2019?

The start of the new year is a time to look ahead to new beginnings, including new year’s resolutions, a tradition that originated way back in the days of the ancient Babylonians.

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Sharing Gratitude and Appreciation at the Holidays and Throughout the New Year

The end of the year and the accompanying holidays mark the season for reflection and gratitude. As department chair, I’m feeling especially grateful for many reasons.

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Artificial Intelligence, Pathology, and Driverless Cars: Who's Behind the Wheel?

The topic of artificial intelligence (AI) is hard to get away from. Did you know that you will soon be able get a ride regularly in a driverless car?

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How Curious Are You?

I’ve always assumed that a high-level of curiosity is essential for everyone working at an academic health center – after all, these are places of discovery and learning, rooted in curiosity.

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Do You Feel Trusted?

Among healthcare professionals, one of the greatest signs of trust is to have a family member cared for by one’s colleagues and the hospital where one works.

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Sexual Harassment — Let's Melt the Iceberg

I have always felt fortunate to work at the University of California, an institution with high ethical standards that values fairness and equity.

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Why You Should Take a Summer Vacation

Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting the incredible Chihuly Sanctuary at the Buffett Cancer Center during a visit to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

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Making Artificial Intelligence Real in Pathology and Lab Medicine

It seems like artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. Have you tried the Google Arts and Culture app? Take a selfie, and the app will use image matching AI to match your face to famous works of art.

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A conversation with Lydia Howell, M.D.About the Blog

I am delighted to welcome you to my blog. I started this blog with my first post in April 2016 to improve communication both within the department and to those outside the department. A regular blog like this from the chair provides the perfect opportunity to communicate and share the wonderful things happening within our department, including accomplishments, plans, and progress on initiatives.

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Portrait of Lydia Howell, professor and chair of Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

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