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About Pathology and Pathologists

Pathology's primary goal is to study and understand the four main aspects of disease:

  • Etiology: what causes disease
  • Pathogenesis: the mechanism by which a certain etiological factor causes disease, or the means by which disease is caused
  • Morphologic changes: the structural changes induced in cells, tissues and organs as a result of disease
  • Clinical significance: the functional consequences of the morphologic changes taking place in the body

Pathologists are medical doctors (M.D.) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.). They are required to complete a four year undergraduate program, four years of medical school training, and four to five years of postgraduate training in the form of a pathology residency. Their training may be within two primary specialties, as recognized by the American Board of Pathology:

  • Anatomic Pathology: the science of diagnosing diseases based on the appearance of tissues, both gross and microscopic.
  • Clinical Pathology: the science of diagnosing diseases based on the analysis of body fluids like blood and urine.

Following general training, many pathologists continue to train in a more specialized field including General Surgical Pathology, Gastrointestinal Pathology and Genitourinary Pathology, Hematopathology, Dermatopathology, Microbiology, and Clinical Chemistry.

NameIntroduction
Tools of PathologyPathologists use a variety of techniques to study disease processes and diagnoses.



 

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