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What does a Pathologist do?

Learn all about Pathologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Pathologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and identifying diseases. They examine tissues and organs to determine the cause of death or disease.

Pathologist job duties include:

  • Examine tissues and organs to determine the cause of disease or injury
  • Study blood samples to check for abnormalities
  • Evaluate test results to diagnose patients’ conditions
  • Develop treatment plans based on findings
  • Consult with other physicians to discuss cases
  • Keep detailed records of patients’ diagnoses and treatments
  • Perform autopsies to determine cause of death
  • Teach medical students and residents
  • Conduct research to develop new diagnostic methods and treatments

Pathologist Job Requirements

A pathologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and identifying diseases. To become a pathologist, one must first complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by four years of medical school. After medical school, pathologists must complete a three- to five-year residency program in pathology. Some pathologists also choose to pursue fellowships in subspecialties such as immunology or forensic pathology. In order to practice pathology, all pathologists must be licensed by the state in which they practice.

Pathologist Skills

  • Pathology
  • Medical doctor
  • Clinical pathology
  • Anatomic pathology
  • Molecular pathology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry

Related: Top Pathologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Pathologist

A pathologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and identifying diseases. Pathologists use a variety of techniques to examine tissues and organs to determine the cause of disease.

To become a pathologist, you will need to complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by four years of medical school. After completing medical school, you will need to complete a three-year residency in pathology. Once you have completed your training, you will be eligible to take the American Board of Pathology exam.

Related: Pathologist Resume Example

Related: Pathologist Interview Questions (With Example Answers)