WebMD
Font Size

Pathologist

Pathologists are medical doctors who specialize in the examination of tissue and blood samples to diagnose disease and who perform autopsies.

Pathologists analyze and evaluate all tissues removed from people by such procedures as surgery or biopsy. They also are in charge of the clinical laboratories that analyze blood and body fluid samples. For example, when a person has a mole removed or has a Pap test, a pathologist examines the specimen to determine the diagnosis. Treatment decisions are often made based on the pathology report.

Pathologists can be board-certified in a number of subspecialties through the American Board of Pathology, which is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialities.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last RevisedAugust 17, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 17, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.