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Pathologist

Posted on:3/24/2006
A pathologist is a specialist in pathology. Within medicine, the pathologist is a medical doctor with post-graduate specialty training (residency training) in Pathology.



A pathologist is a specialist in pathology. Within medicine, the pathologist is a medical doctor with post-graduate specialty training (residency training) in Pathology. He or she is mainly concerned with the diagnosis of diseases.

Because the public rarely meets pathologists, their work is not well understood. Many people think they spend their days doing autopsies, which is very far from the truth. Autopsies represent less than 10% of the workload of a typical modern pathologist. Instead, they are responsible, along with medical technologists for medical laboratories. In other words, patients should know that what their doctor calls a "laboratory result" is not a number spewed by a black box. Instead, it is the personal opinion of a pathologist or a technologist. It is also important to understand that a different laboratory might produce a different opinion on the same specimen.

Pathologists usually do not see patients, only specimens or autopsies. For this reason, another name for pathology is Laboratory Medicine. In addition to the diagnosis of patients and the administration of medical laboratories, pathologists often participate in the teaching of medical students (Pathology is a core course in the medical curriculum). Pathologists express their opinion as a pathology report adressed to the doctor requesting it. Since pathologists most often communicate with other doctors, they are sometimes nicknamed "the doctor's doctor". Pathology is the most scientific branch of Medicine.

Also, since all human tissues are under the responsibility of the Pathology laboratory, research involving human material usually involves the pathologist. Finally, the circulation of laboratory data is a central issue in medical informatics and the current tendency towards electronic medical records.


 


  
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