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Pathology is the study of diseases, the mechanism by which diseases affect people, and the structural and functional changes brought on by these diseases on the human body, and the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes.

Gross pathology of placental disorders
Gross pathology of placental disorders

Etiology[edit | edit source]

The word pathology derives it's name from pathos which means suffering, experience or disease and logia which means discourse, or study.

History[edit | edit source]

Gross pathology of papillary muscle infarction
Gross pathology of papillary muscle infarction

Pathology, as a way to study the human body, to understand the disease process has been around for a long time.

Branches[edit | edit source]

Pathology is a broad field that encompases many different branches or fields of study including the following:

Pathologists looking into microscopes (1)

Medical education in pathology[edit | edit source]

Pathologists are physicians trained in the field of pathology. In the United States, pathologists have to first complete a 4 year medical school followed by a residency in either anatomical pathology, or clinical pathology which is an additional 3-4 years. Pathologists can choose to get additional specialty training in any of the pathological areas of interest which requires additional training.

Gross pathology of amputated finger sections in cassette

Role of Pathologists[edit | edit source]

Pathologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and classifying diseases by studying cells and tissue samples, and by performing lab tests. They collaborate with other physicians, contributing to patient care by providing vital information used to predict the course of a disease and its response to treatment.

Diagnostic Techniques[edit | edit source]

Various techniques are employed in the field of pathology, including:

  • Biopsy: A small sample of tissue is removed from the patient for examination.
  • Autopsy: The examination of a deceased individual to determine the cause and manner of death.
  • Cytopathology: The study of individual cells to diagnose disease.
  • Hematopathology: The study of diseases that affect blood cells and blood-forming organs.
  • Molecular pathology: The study of disease at a molecular level to diagnose and monitor disease.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

  • Kumar, Vinay; Abbas, Abul K.; Fausto, Nelson; & Mitchell, Richard N. (2007). Robbins Basic Pathology (8th ed.). Saunders Elsevier.
Pathology Resources
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