What is a pathologist and how do you become one?

Pathology refers to the study and understanding of disease and how it affects the body. A person who works in this field is a healthcare professional known as a pathologist who diagnoses, treats and prevents a range of diseases.

The term pathology comes from ancient Greek and means translated suffering doctrine. Physicians and scientists working in pathology are experts in disease and disease and use their expertise to support every aspect of healthcare.

There are different ways to become a pathologist, but they require years of study and training. Pathologists can practice in all areas of pathology, but typically specialize in a specific field or discipline within that field, e.g. B. neuropathology, hematopathology or dermatopathology.

In this article, we will discuss what pathologists do, how to become one, and what types of specialties exist.

pathology is a general term used to describe the study of diseases and injuries that can occur in the human body. By taking samples of body cells, fluids, and tissues and then analyzing them, a professional can identify abnormalities or significant changes. That allows to better understand the cause of the problem, how it progresses and how the disease affects the body’s typical functions and processes.

pathologists are commonly either Doctors with specialist laboratory training or scientists with specialist clinic training. You will work closely with other healthcare professionals and contribute to the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease. They are responsible for conducting laboratory tests to reveal the presence, cause, and severity of diseases, and for monitoring the progress of the condition and the effects of treatment.

While most pathologists receive training in both the clinical and anatomical areas of pathology, some receive additional training that gives them expertise in a specific area subspecialty your choice.

The road to pathology is usually kick off after successful completion a relevant qualifications and training. A person will then complete a residence, where they study and practice pathology under the training of experts in the field. The field of pathology includes both anatomical and clinical aspects anatomical Focusing on the effects of disease on the human body and clinical including laboratory work and supervision of test procedures.

A person may choose to specialize in one of these disciplines or to embark on a longer residency and practice both. The final step to becoming a pathologist is to pass a certification exam.

The path to the pathologist can be similar to the following:

  1. A person first goes to college and receives basic training in a medical specialty. They may already be considering which specialties are of interest as this can help them choose a suitable medical school.
  2. Next, a person will take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Most students take this during their junior year so they can get their results when they apply to medical school. Most medical schools share their minimum MCAT requirements along with incoming students’ average MCAT scores to inform prospective students of the ideal results.
  3. After medical school, a person must complete a residency in pathology, which usually lasts 4 years. At this point, aspiring pathologists participate in rotations in hospitals to learn various skills such as microbiology, immunology, and more. Pathologists who choose a subspecialty complete an additional year or two of Fellowship training in that particular area.
  4. Aspiring pathologists must then receive a License to Doctor of Medicine after completing a medical doctorate and specialist training.
  5. All pathologists must then be certified. In the United States, the American Board of Pathology certifies qualified physicians. To receive this, an individual must have a medical degree from an accredited school, have completed their pathology residency, have a medical license and have passed a certification test. A person can also become a member College of American Pathologists or the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
  6. Finally, a pathologist may want to have a sub-specialty. Although optional, any individual interested in a sub-specialty must complete a fellowship where they receive additional training in their area of ​​interest. A person will complete this scholarship in a hospital and it usually takes about 2 years.

Some pathologists have a sub-specialty within a particular one discipline the pathology. This usually requires additional training and knowledge assessment. Although training standards and organizations may differ from country to country, they broadly cover similar tasks. Some subspecialties and their corresponding responsibilities contain:

blood banks or transfusions

A pathologist specializing in this area is responsible for monitoring, processing and compatibility of blood products. This includes ensuring adequate blood is available and overseeing the safety, testing and preparation of blood and blood components.

Clinical Pathology

Clinical Pathologists, sometimes known as chemical pathologists, are experts in the field of biochemistry and how changes in the body’s pathways are related to the diagnosis and progression of disease. These people monitor substances in bodily fluids, such as blood and urine, to assess changes in a person’s body chemistry.

Clinical Informatics

A pathologist who specializes in it Clinical Informatics aims to improve health outcomes for patients and society, patient care and doctor-patient relationships. They do this by evaluating data, health trends and communication systems, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals. These people use the information they collect to try to improve and refine medical processes that produce better outcomes for patients.


cytopathologists Analyze cell samples from body fluids to look for cellular abnormalities and use this information to study and diagnose diseases. They use techniques that allow them to observe cells, such as B. Staining methods or the use of a microscope.


dermatopathologists specializes in interpreting skin biopsies to diagnose a variety of skin conditions. This may involve examining a sample of skin under a microscope to evaluate the structure of the tissue, identify any pathogens causing the condition, and check for abnormalities.

Forensic Pathology

A forensic pathologist will examine tissues in a person after a sudden, unexpected, or violent death. They sometimes work as coroners or coroners, performing autopsies for law enforcement. It is their responsibility to assist in determining the cause of death, the manner and mechanism of death.


A pathologist who specializes in it hematology examines conditions specific to blood cells, blood clotting pathways, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. These people use blood samples to diagnose conditions like anemia, leukemia, lymphoma, and more.

Medical Microbiology

A medical one microbiologist examines infectious organisms and antibiotic susceptibility. They support and oversee the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases caused by microorganisms.

Molecular Genetic Pathology

A molecular genetic pathologist examines genetic markers. These individuals assist in the monitoring, diagnosis, and prognosis of diseases related to genetic disorders, infectious diseases, and human development. They also help determine the risk of genetic disorders.


neuropathologists are people who study conditions that affect the nervous system. You will often act as consultants to neurologists and neurosurgeons, analyzing postmortem specimens to study dementia, assess trauma, and evaluate genetic conditions.

Pediatric Pathology

A pathologist who specializes in it pediatric pathology examines diseases that occur in children up to the age of 18. These individuals may also specialize in perinatal pathology, which includes the study of disorders of the placenta, problems affecting development, and causes of miscarriage.

Pathologists are medical professionals who help study the cause and progression of a disease or injury. They are usually experts in a particular field and often assist other doctors in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of medical conditions. Becoming a pathologist requires many years of education and training among experts.

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