A branch of medical science, pathology deals with causes, development and effects of a particular disease. A pathologist examines the organs, tissues and bodily fluids of the patient to deliver a diagnosis.
What do they do?
A branch of medical science, pathology (lab medicine) deals with causes, development and effects of a particular disease. A pathologist examines the organs, tissues and bodily fluids of the patient to deliver a diagnosis. There are two main branches of pathology — anatomical pathology and clinical pathology, and smaller branches such as forensic pathology, veterinary pathology, plant pathology, molecular pathology, surgical pathology, hematopathology, etc. Those wanting to work in this field can become specialists in one of the aforementioned branches. But they must remember that a lot of hard work goes in to perfecting skills in a laboratory. Pathologists also need to regularly upgrade their learning to stay abreast with the developments in medicine. They must also remember that quick test results and accurate diagnoses can save precious lives. Each case presents a challenge to the pathologist, who has to don the hats of both a physician and a scientist. Pathology combines the art of medicine and the science of tissue morphology.
- You should enjoy anatomy and physiology. For example: as a kid, you played with a toy skeleton instead of a doll or an action figure .
- You should prefer to work in a lab behind a microscope instead of interfacing with patients all day.
- You should enjoy solving mysteries or finding answers.
- You are drawn to the scientific, analytical, technical aspect of medicine
How do I get there?
A number of medical colleges and universities offer courses in pathology. Most of them generally conduct courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate degree levels. At the plus-two level you must have physics, chemistry and biology and then apply for UG courses. After MBBS, you do MD or DNB – both of three years’ duration – and then become a pathologist.