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What Is A Pathologist?

A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in the study of diseases. Being a pathologist, most of your time will be spent in the laboratory. You will be examining collected patient samples of body fluid and tissue for evaluating medical conditions. Pathologists are referred to as the doctor’s doctor for obvious reasons. General physicians refer to a pathologist’s diagnosis report for treating patients. Performing autopsies to assess the cause of death is also a part of a pathologist’s routine. There are several specialty pathology courses that can get you trained as an independent practitioner of the subject.


Typical Daily Routine Of A Pathologist


A professional day for pathologists is spent investigating a variety of health conditions. Part of your routine might include preparing reports about your findings. These reports are based on possibilities for the cause of medical conditions, along with a suggested plan for treatment. Following practices might fall into your daily work routine as a certified pathologist:


  • Diagnosis of blood samples for bleeding disorders or similar abnormalities. 
  • Conducting malignancy tests through fine needle procedures on organs and lymph nodes.
  • Comparative study of pap smears for the detection of cancer or its stages in patients.
  • Conducting autopsies to analyze the cause of death in human corpses.
  • Examination of biopsy reports for cancerous conditions.
  • Blood sugar tests for diabetic patients to suggest appropriate medication dosage.


Becoming A Pathologist


Before you become a pathologist, you will need to be a doctor first. For this, you will have to complete four years of medical schooling. The initial two years include classroom education and lab practices. But the final two years will need you to go through clinical rotations before you get your medical degree. There is also a compulsory internship period of at least a year for medical graduates before they can practice independently.


Residency training begins after your internship for about a year or three in addition. Few might continue beyond this duration until they get through to a vocational program. Getting through residency training is vital to familiarize yourself with real-life patients and actual hospital environments. Vocational programs are the specialty training for doctors aspiring to become pathologists. These programs vary according to your field of interest within the vast scope of the subject.


Qualities In A Pathologist


Beyond the educational and technical proficiencies, some qualities might be good to have to be a better pathologist. A few of these are:


  • Emotional stability
  • Open-minded
  • Analytical thinking
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • Team player attitude


Earning Potential For A Pathologist


Similar to every other specialist in medicine, pathologists carry the potential for a very good living. According to some reports, entry-level pathologists can expect an average compensation of approximately AU$ 80,000 for their initial couple of years’ professional practice. This might be on the lower side, but the potential usually increases with your experience in the field. Moreover, the demand for medical specialists is ever-growing around the globe. This includes expert pathologists who are good at their work. But to keep you informed of evolving technologies in your field is equally important in this fast-paced modern time medical world.