If you want to become a pathologist, you must earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. From there, you must complete a residency in pathology, and you may choose to specialize your education through a fellowship program.
Medical Schools for Aspiring Pathologists
Here are ten medical schools at which aspiring pathologists can pursue an MD degree:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Ohio State University - Main Campus||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||$30,690 in-state, $35,364 out-of-state|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||$43,408 in-state, $88,718 out-of-state|
|Pennsylvania State University||Hershey, PA||4-year, Public||$49,800|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||$49,080|
|University of Wisconsin - Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, Public||$26,117 in-state, $36,013 out-of-state|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||$32,428 in-state, $50,854 out-of-state|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||$33,519 in-state, $63,954 out-of-state|
|University of California - Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||$31,731 in-state, $43,976 out-of-state|
|University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ||4-year, Public||$30,284 in-state, $50,528 out-of-state|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||$56,848|
*Sources: U.S. News and World Report, School websites
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for a pathology school:
- Students considering MD programs should find out what the pathology residency placement rate is for graduates of the program.
- When looking for well-respected medical schools, it can be helpful to consider the school's national ranking, according to U.S. News and World Report.
- Students considering residency programs should consider the setting in which they will gain clinical experience, such as a crime lab or coroner's office, to ensure that it coincides with their future career aspirations.
- Prospective pathologists who are interested in research should look into the studies that are being conducted at the school to find out if there are faculty members with whom they share academic interests.
Doctor of Medicine (MD) Programs
After completing pre-medical requirements and earning a bachelor's degree, the first step for aspiring pathologists is to attend medical school to earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. The first two years of MD programs are dedicated to theoretical and lab-based studies in advanced biomedical topics. After that, medical students spend the remaining two years completing clinical rotations in each subfield of medicine. One of these rotations will be in pathology.
Graduates of MD programs who want to become pathologists must enroll in a pathology residency program. In these programs, students may study both anatomic pathology and clinical pathology or choose to specialize specifically in one of these fields, depending on their future career interests. These programs last for four years and include extensive clinical training; they may also offer research opportunities in the field. It is important to note that residents are paid a stipend.
After completing a residency, pathologists who want to specialize in a particular area of the field can complete a one- to two-year fellowship. Available options depend on the school, but they can include cytopathology, forensic pathology, molecular genetic pathology, hematopathology and pathology informatics. Like residents, fellows receive a stipend for their work.
There are many schools that provide relevant medical training for aspiring pathologists. Students should look for well-respected medical schools when enrolling in MD programs and trying to find residency and fellowship programs.