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Research

Pathologists’ diagnosis of invasive melanoma and melanocytic proliferations: observer accuracy and reproducibility study

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2813 (Published 28 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2813

Infallible laboratory pigeons

Trained laboratory pigeons are reported to produce excellent cancer detection rates when confronted with biopsy slides. [2]
Pigeons learn fast, in only 15 days, and manage to efficiently diagnose cancers, with accuracy levels close to 99%.
Even combinations of first and second opinions on pathology slides from expert pathologists with a high volume of diagnostic work resulted in many more mistakes in diagnoses. [1]
Pigeons err less than US pathologists.
False positive and false negative diagnostic results in this new study confirm doctors' inaccurate diagnostic performance.
References
[1] http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i3069
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4651348/

Competing interests: No competing interests

03 July 2017
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, Greece