Pathology Doctors – What They Do and What to Expect

Pathology: An Overview

Pathology is a branch of medical science that is concerned with the cause, origin, and nature of a disease. It involves examining tissues, organs, body fluids, and autopsies in order to study and diagnose diseases. There are many subdivisions in pathology branch, depending on the types of methods used and the types of diseases examined. 

Fields of Pathology

  • Anatomical Pathology
    Anatomical pathology is a medical specialty concerned with the study and diagnosis of illness through microscopic analysis of a sample of organ tissues, body fluids, and sometimes the entire body or autopsy. Factors that are examined in anatomical pathology include the cell appearance, anatomical makeup, and some structural signatures within the cells.
  • Clinical Pathology
    Clinical pathology doctors use laboratory analysis to diagnose diseases. It is concerned with the analysis of the blood, urine, and tissue samples used to examine and diagnose various diseases. Examples of information clinical pathologists provides include blood count, blood clotting, and electrolyte results. Clinical pathology doctors work in tandem with microbiology, hematology, and blood banking departments. But, they are not the same level experts as others who specialize in one of these fields.
  • Molecular Pathology
    Molecular pathology is concerned with the study and diagnosis of diseases through the examination of molecules within organs, tissues, or bodily fluids. It is multidisciplinary by nature and shares some aspects of practice with anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and proteomics. It is commonly used to diagnose cancer and infectious diseases such as melanoma, brainstem glioma, brain tumors, and other types of cancer and infectious diseases.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
    Oral and maxillofacial pathology is considered a specialty of both dentistry and pathology. It primarily concerned with the diagnosis, clinical management, and investigation of diseases that affect the oral cavity along with surrounding maxillofacial structures including odontogenic, epithelial, salivary gland, bone, and soft tissue pathologies. Oral and maxillofacial pathology is also concerned with a broad variety of diseases of the oral cavity like Oral cancers, Cleft lip and palate, Macroglossia, Ankyloglossia, Stafne defect, Torus palatinus, Torus mandibularis, and Eagle syndrome. Most of the oral diseases are diagnosed from the gross examination, but biopsies, cell smears, and other tissue analysis are also part of the diagnostic tools used in oral pathology.
  • Hematopathology
    Hematopathology focuses on several different disease aspects that affect the blood. It includes bleeding disorders, clotting problems, anemia and immunity disorders. Another important area of focus for hematopathology is transfusion medicine that involves performing blood typing, cross-matching for compatibility, and managing large amounts of blood products. One of the most common tests a hematologist may perform is a blood clotting test that is used to check whether a patient's dose of warfarin needs any change.

What Does a Pathologist Do?

A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in microscopic examination of body fluids and tissues. He/she helps your primary doctor make a diagnosis about your health or any other medical problem or condition you might have and uses laboratory tests to monitor the health of patients with chronic conditions.

Pathology doctors help treating patients by providing their doctors with the information they need to ensure appropriate patient care. They are extremely valuable resources for physicians.

A pathology doctor can help you in preventing illness and maintain good health. He/she may supervise testing or perform a series of preventive health tests to help assess your health by examining your blood samples as a part of your annual examination. They also examine tissue biopsies to determine whether it is benign or you have cancer and share that information with your primary care physician.

How to Become a Pathologist?

To become a certified pathologist, aspirants are required to complete a five and a half years M.B.B.S. graduation program from a medical college, followed by specialized training in pathology as a part of the post-graduation. They can also pursue fellowships courses, post-doctoral certificate courses, and super specializations in different streams like oncopathology, hematopathology, immunology, etc. to enhance their skills.

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

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