Medical Pathologist Career Video for Medical Students

Medical Pathologist Career Video for Medical Students Transcript

Medical pathologists are physicians who are specialists in the detection, diagnosis, treatment and management of human disease and injury. The sub-disciplines of clinical pathology, anatomic pathology and research pathology each contribute to understanding the causes and processes of disease and death, which ultimately leads to the development of better treatment options.


Medical pathology is the study of the causes and effects of disease and injury on living body tissues. Pathologists are responsible for providing and interpreting laboratory information that will help solve diagnostic problems, monitor the effects of therapy or treatment and determine the causes of death. Pathologists have completed medical school and four to five years of accredited residency training.

Job Skills and Duties

Medical pathology is a good career choice for highly intelligent, persistent and detail-oriented individuals who like to be on the cutting edge of medical technology. Pathologists find it rewarding to search for solutions to difficult medical problems.

They are several different types of pathologists. Medical pathologists are well trained in the fields of clinical medicine, laboratory technology and diagnostic testing. They act as consultants to other physicians, using their knowledge to help physicians diagnosis and treat individual patients. Anatomic pathologists examine surgical biopsies and conduct autopsies. Clinical pathologists conduct tests related to cell microbiology, hematology and immunology. Molecular pathologists examine DNA and RNA as part of diagnostic, clinical or forensic investigations. And research pathologists conduct clinical studies, examine disease models and conduct biomedical experiments on cells, tissues and body fluids.

Training Required

Medical pathology requires a medical degree plus four to five years of postgraduate training in an accredited residency program. Sub-specialty training may take another one to two years to complete. Specialty certification is also required to practice medical pathology.

Well Known Jobs Within this Field of Expertise

The majority of medical pathologists work in hospitals. Many also work in basic or applied research at medical schools where they may teach. Others work for state or government agencies. Some pathology specialties include:

  • Surgical pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Forensic pathology
  • Clinical pathology


The field of medical pathology attracts people who enjoy exploring health and solving problems. If this sounds like the career for you check with your local medical school for details on how to become a medical pathologist.


Intersociety Council for Pathology Information (ICPI)

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