What is a pathologist? What they do, and how do they become one? Exploring Their Vital Contribution to Medicine

Pathologist is a doctor who looks at tissues to find any changes or unusual things. Their findings underpin every aspect of medical care. These doctors are important for diagnosing diseases and their causes. They study genetics and tissue culture in detail.

This article will discuss complete information illustrating all aspects of pathologists’ roles, expertise, and essential functions. We will also discuss a thorough plan demonstrating all the information for an excelling career in pathology. Let’s begin.


What is a Pathologist?

They are medical detectives. They thoroughly check patients’ bodies to understand tissues and blood cell abnormalities. They also run lab tests on tissue samples and help healthcare teams diagnose using blood samples. 

These doctors play a crucial role in patient care. They’re not just limited to one area—cardio, pediatric pathology, or whatever field; they’re always ready to help. These experts use blood and tissue samples under high-tech machines to diagnose. From recognizing disease to sorting treatment, their role is immensely appreciated.

What Does a Pathologist Do?

These specialists are like the masters of medical investigations. Using samples of tissue and blood, these detectives carried out different tests. They analyze tissues, cells, and body fluids to identify other medical conditions.

Various high-tech tools, such as microscopes, Haemocytometers, Wintrobe’s tubes, etc., are used for this purpose. These tools help them determine the nature or cause of the illness. All diagnosis tests are performed through body fluids such as blood and urine. 

Their work is explored in different areas, like

  • Determining surgical specimens
  • Conducting autopsies
  • Interpretation of laboratory tests 
  • Contribution to research 

The majority of them move blood banking and transfusion medicine procedures. Their role is highly beneficial for the betterment of accurate diagnosis.

How to Become a Pathologist?

However, there are several academic steps to becoming the best Pathologist. Below is a complete list of information:

  • First, Complete your college 
  • Take a medical college admission test known as MCAT. This step will determine your eligibility for the degree.
  • After clearing the MCAT exam, you can enroll in a medical school. It consists of 5 years of intensive study.
  • After completing five years of MBBS, you can earn your required licence. 
  • You must complete your residency program within four years.
  • Lastly, you must complete your two-year fellowship training. 

After finishing this wholе procеdurе, you’ll еarn your board certification. Furthermore, they recertify their certification every ten years through their specific boards.

What are the different kinds of pathologists?

Pathology is a diverse field with many areas of specialty and subspecialty. Learning about the different types of pathologists can help you determine what specialty best suits your professional interests. Here are some common types:

Anatomic Pathologists: 

They are anatomical and clinical doctors. They examine tissues and cells under the microscope to diagnose diseases. This may include cervical scrapings, biopsies, or autopsies.  

Clinical Pathologists:

They examine bodily fluids such as blood cells and urine. They use laboratory tests to diagnose and manage diseases. 

Forensic Pathologists:

These are the specialists in performing autopsies. It helps them investigate the cause of death of the suspect. They also examine the reasons for sudden deaths. 

Surgical Pathologists:

They diagnose diseases by examining tissue samples obtained during surgeries. 


They specialize in diagnosing diseases by studying individual cells. It can be done primarily through procedures like PAP and smears. It can be mainly done to study tissues and the effects of diseases. 


They focus on diagnosing blood, marrow, bone, or lymph node-related diseases. 

Is a pathologist a doctor?

Absolutely! They are a medical doctor who specializes in pathology. They have studied clinical pathology exclusively in medical school. They looked at tissues and their lab testing for the solution of underlying disease.

Their specificity helps other healthcare professionals understand if the person has any underlying diseases. Detailed testing services may provide accurate insights into acute or chronic issues. Their unique domain determines the nature and the effect of diseases.  

Where do pathologists work?

These professionals practise in various places, mostly in labs. However, the areas they explore may vary, such as in universities, hospitals, clinics, or private offices. They may also provide their facilities in rescue centres.  

What Are the Education Requirements for Pathologists?

First, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in any medical field. Afterward, you head to medical school for about four years to become a doctor. The next step is residency, a hands-on training program in pathology that usually takes another four years.

Once you’ve done all that, you’ll need to get licensed to practice medicine in your area. This domain requires 11 years of education to excel in a career. 

Some students also get certified by a pathology board for extra credibility. It’s a schooling marathon, but it’s what makes them experts in diagnosis.

Subspecialties Within Pathology

There are various subspecialties within pathology. All are written below:

  • Surgical Pathology 

It involves the examination of tissues. Samples are obtained during surgery to diagnose diseases. 

  •  Cytopathology 

It focuses on diagnosing diseases by studying individual cells. It can be for various blood-related disorders like anemia, diagnosing cancer, etc.

  • Hematopathology 

They specialize in diseases of blood, marrow, or lymph nodes. It can mainly assist in the diagnosis of cancer. 

  • Forensic Pathology 

They investigate the cause of death. It can be a suspicious or sudden death case.

  • Dermatopathology 

They concentrate on diagnosing skin diseases by studying skin types.

  • Neuropathy 

They deal with diseases of the nervous system. This includes the brain and spinal cord.

  • Clinical Pathology 

They analyze both bodily fluids and tissues in a laboratory. They are set to aid in disease diagnosis and management. 

These specialties in pathology focus on different diseases, body systems, or diagnostic methods.

Your Career as a Pathologist

It involves various projects. It covers the area of disease management. So, from a general view, you can excel ideally as a pathologist If you understand your domain completely. 


In the end, the role of a Pathologist is indispensable in medicine. Their expertise provides a wide range of practices. They are essential medical professionals who work behind the scenes to diagnose medical conditions. They have specialized knowledge and skills to diagnose conditions accurately and recommend treatment plans.

Becoming a pathologist requires dedication and love for unravelling medical mysteries. It can be a rewarding career if you’re ready for the challenge.