Overview and Key Facts
Doctoral or professional degree
Jobs in 2029
What Do They Do?A pathologist could...
Review blood tests of a pregnant woman to make sure her baby will be born healthy.
Look at kidney tissue under a microscope to determine if a patient needs a transplant.
Help chart a patient's course to recovery by diagnosing their type of cancer from a surgical biopsy.
Conduct an autopsy to determine if a person died of natural causes or because of foul play.
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Do you enjoy solving mysteries? Getting to the end of a "who did it" mystery novel can be lots of fun! But are there mysteries in real life? You bet there are! A pathologist is a medical detective, and their job is to figure out the root cause of real-life medical puzzles. Pathologists work in a wide range of fields and can help diagnose types of cancer, find out what killed a person, and investigate how disease progresses on a molecular level. If you enjoy employing cool logic to solve mysteries, then you should seriously consider a career as a pathologist.
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Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Pathologist?
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Active Learning: ? Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Science: ? Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Speaking: ? Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Monitoring: ? Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Pathologist might do:
- Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions, using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, or molecular biology.
- Examine microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.
- Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.
- Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.
- Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.
- Consult with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.
- Analyze and interpret results from tests, such as microbial or parasite tests, urine analyses, hormonal assays, fine needle aspirations (FNAs), and polymerase chain reactions (PCRs).
- Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.
- Manage medical laboratories.
- Develop or adopt new tests or instruments to improve diagnosis of diseases.
- Educate physicians, students, and other personnel in medical laboratory professions, such as medical technology, cytotechnology, or histotechnology.
- Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents, or visiting pathologists.
- Perform autopsies to determine causes of deaths.
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