FAQ for Patients


What is UCSF Dermatopathology and Oral Pathology Service?

Dermatopathology is a subspecialty of both dermatology and surgical pathology that focuses on the study of cutaneous diseases at a microscopic level. It also encompasses analyses of the potential causes of skin diseases at a cellular level. Our Dermatopathologists work in close association with dermatologists. Dermatopathology is a consultative service to the referring dermatologist and not simply a laboratory test. More than 1500 different skin disorders exist, making the accurate microscopic interpretation of a patient's biopsy important in the selection of appropriate therapies. Our dermatopathologists will review your skin biopsies or slides to correctly diagnose your case. Feel at ease, our dermatopathologists are world renowned experts.

How may I schedule an appointment with you?

The physicians of UCSF Dermatopathology and Oral Pathology Service do not see patients. Instead, they examine tissue that has been sent to us from dermatologists or other community physicians. Our physicians also evaluate previously prepared slides along with their accompanying pathology report to offer a second opinion and occasionally even a third opinion.

How can I send my specimen to you?

Normally, physicians or other labs send specimens to us. If you wish for your specimen be sent to us to be expertly read by one of our dermatopathologists please inform your medical practitioner of your request.

We recommend that specimens be sent to us directly from your provider or the lab due to the necessary packaging required for transport. Should you have any additional questions, please contact us.

Can I get a copy of my report?

Yes, your report is about you and you have a right to receive a copy. However, we strongly recommend that you review your report with your medical practitioner to establish the most effective treatment plan for you.

Will you bill my insurance?

Yes, your insurance will be billed if a copy of your insurance card is included with the paperwork that accompanies your referral. As part of the University of California, we are contracted with and accept most insurances. Please refer to our Insurance page for more information.

When will my results be ready?

In an emergency, results may be available the same day a specimen is received. Regular cases are reported within 24 hours of receipt.

Final results may be delayed pending the results of special stains (tests) required for an accurate diagnosis. Stains are usually processed overnight, available for review the following day. Though multiple stains may be ordered and processed overnight, each day a stain is ordered will delay a final diagnosis by 24 hours.

Why did I receive a bill from you?

Your physician, or another lab, referred your biopsy or slides to our Service for processing and interpretation. Our services are billed separately from your treating physician's services. In several weeks, you will receive a statement from our billing agent, Change Healthcare in South Carolina.

Should you need to update your insurance information, or have any other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.