What does a Pathologist do?
Diagnose presence and stage of diseases using laboratory techniques and patient specimens. Study the nature, cause, and development of diseases. May perform autopsies.
- Testify in depositions or trials as an expert witness.
- Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.
- Manage medical laboratories.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.
- 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, and histotechnology.
- Conduct research and present scientific findings.
- Perform autopsies to determine causes of deaths.
- Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents or visiting pathologists.
- Obtain specimens by performing procedures such as biopsies and fine need aspirations (FNAs) of superficial nodules.
- Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.
- Diagnose infections, such as Hepatitis B and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), by conducting tests to detect the antibodies that patients' immune systems make to fight such infections.
- Conduct genetic analyses of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or chromosomes to diagnose small biopsies and cell samples.
- Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.
- 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).
- Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.
- Consult with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.
- Examine microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.
- Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, and molecular biology.