Diagnoses the presence and stage of diseases using laboratory techniques and patient specimens. Studies the nature, cause, and development of diseases. May also perform autopsies.
This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.
A person in this career:
- Examines microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.
- Diagnoses diseases or studies medical conditions using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, and molecular biology.
- Writes pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.
- Identifies the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.
- Analyzes and interprets results from tests such as microbial or parasite tests, urine analyses, hormonal assays, fine needle aspirations (FNAs), and polymerase chain reactions (PCRs).
- Communicates pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.
- Reads current literature, talks with colleagues, or participates in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.
- Consults with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.
- Plans and supervises the work of the pathology staff, residents or visiting pathologists.
- Reviews cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.