Clinical Pathology Certificate and Degree Program Information

Clinical pathology is often combined with a study in anatomic pathology, or other medical specialization areas. Students can receive hands-on training from laboratory directors and other pathologists.

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Essential Information

Clinical pathology training is offered through certificate programs, combined with a residency. Students who have received their Doctor of Medicine degree and have career goals of working with high-tech equipment to diagnose and prevent diseases may consider these programs.

Program specializations include anatomic pathology, surgical pathology and neuropathology. A bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry or a related field, along with four years of medical school, may be required for admission.

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Certificate in Clinical Pathology

Clinical pathology residency programs are typically 3-4 years in length. As opposed to standard courses or classes, these programs are comprised of rotations in which a student works closely with an expert in their chosen medical specialty. Some rotation areas include:

  • Immunology
  • Toxicology
  • Transfusion medicine
  • Medical microbiology
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Diagnostic test implementation

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 311,320 surgeons and physicians, including pathologists, employed in 2014 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also projected that the employment field for this occupation would grow 14% from 2014 to 2024 (faster than the average for all occupations). Physicians and Surgeons, which includes pathologists, earned a mean wage of $197,700 in May 2015.

Continuing Education

MD graduates will need to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination in order to gain the licensure necessary to practice medicine. The American Board of Pathology offers certification for clinical pathologists who have completed a residency program (www.abpath.org). This certification consists of written and practical examination, both of which must be passed in order to receive certification. While board certification is not required for employment, it can demonstrate professional abilities. Pathologists take a recertification exam every ten years to keep their certification valid.

Clinical pathology studies are available to students at the certificate level. It is also common that a residency will be required for certification purposes.

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