Pathologists

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About the Job

Diagnose presence and stage of diseases using laboratory techniques and patient specimens. Study the nature, cause, and development of diseases. May perform autopsies.

It is also Called

  • Veterinary Pathologist
  • Surgical Pathologist
  • Poultry Pathologist
  • Pediatric Pathologist
  • Pathology Laboratory Director
  • Pathologist
  • Oral Pathologist
  • Ophthalmic Pathologist
  • Ocular Pathologist
  • Neuropathologist
View All

What They Do

  • Testify in depositions or trials as an expert witness.
  • Perform autopsies to determine causes of deaths.
  • Conduct research and present scientific findings.
  • Obtain specimens by performing procedures such as biopsies or fine need aspirations (FNAs) of superficial nodules.
  • Conduct genetic analyses of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or chromosomes to diagnose small biopsies and cell samples.
  • Diagnose infections, such as Hepatitis B and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), by conducting tests to detect the antibodies that patients' immune systems make to fight such infections.
  • Develop or adopt new tests or instruments to improve diagnosis of diseases.
  • Manage medical laboratories.
  • Educate physicians, students, and other personnel in medical laboratory professions such as medical technology, cytotechnology, or histotechnology.
  • Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Independence and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $197,250

Outlook

1.02%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 16,390 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 18,060 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 167 openings due to growth and about 443 replacement openings for approximately 610 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation



Pennsylvania Department of Education