Who is a Pathologist?
You have to be a good observer to be a good pathologist ~ Bill Bass
We have all had our share of diseases and illness but have you ever thought about the research that goes behind finding the cure of a disease? Or who researches about the origin, cause and effect of a sickness? If topics like these fascinate you then becoming a pathologist is a possible career option for you. A pathologist is a medical professional who is responsible for conducting several tests and examinations on a day to day basis. A pathologist is a physician who is responsible for studying the cause, nature and effects of diseases. It is a broad field and a pathologist mainly concentrates on changes in cells, tissues and organs.
Pathologist in a Nutshell
The career of a pathologist is filled with several responsibilities as it is a medical branch and affects human lives. The demand for pathologists has been increasing from the past few years as people are getting more aware about different diseases. Not only that, an increase in population and lifestyle changes have also contributed to the increase in a pathologist’s demand. The career provides an extremely huge number of opportunities and if you want to be a part of the medical field you can consider being a pathologist.
If you want to know more about this field then continue reading this article.
Quick Facts for Pathologist
In order to become a pathologist, an individual from any section or gender can do so. It does not matter which gender he or she belongs to when it comes to taking up a career in the field of medicine. Being a pathologist in India can be of several advantages due to the vast career opportunities available in this field where an individual’s gender is insignificant.
Any special needs
The career of a pathologist is about researching and analysing various diseases and their nature. Pathology is a branch of medicine that involves laboratory examination of several organisms and tissues involved in a disease. It requires a pathologist to be physically fit himself in order to carry out his work efficiently and effectively. Therefore, ideally one should be physically fit in order to become a pathologist. But, it is nowhere mentioned that it is compulsory to be physically fit in order to be a pathologist. Therefore, if the individual’s disability does not cause any negative effect on the work, he or she can become a pathologist.
Table of Contents for Pathologist
What is the role of Pathologist?
Pathology has become one of the most popular fields in the healthcare industry with a wide range of occupations. Pathology work will require an individual to conduct research to investigate the causes and effects of various diseases and ailments in patients. The need for a skilled and trained pathologist, nationally and internationally has increased due to the huge need for such staff in various fields. With the inevitable increase in the world's population, the need for knowledgeable physicians will continue to increase, especially with new and dangerous diseases spreading around the world, and pathologists will be able to find beneficial career options throughout their lives.
As a pathologist, he or she is responsible for conducting several tests on a daily basis. These tests are conducted mainly for diagnosis purposes. Tests could be like blood tests, smear tests as well as tissue removal tests. These tests help a doctor to understand the cause or presence of any disease, virus or infection and he could treat the patient accordingly. Once the test results are filed he or she explains the patient about the results and suggests the further steps accordingly.
It is a pathologist’s job to provide a solution or prescribe a medicine depending on the patient’s disease. Once the tests are done and the reports are out a pathologist could either refer the patient to any specialised doctor or if it is a minor ailment or disease he or she could prescribe the medicine directly. Not only that in cases of blood transfusion it is a pathologist who is responsible to make sure that the blood is safe enough to be transferred into the patient’s body.
Types of a Pathologist
Clinical Pathologist: A clinical pathologist works in a hospital’s lab as well as in the pathology groups to practice as a consultant physician. It is the first step for a fresher in this field to develop and apply knowledge of tissue and laboratory analyses. It would enable him or her to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of individual patients in the future.
Anatomic Pathologist: Anatomic pathology is the branch of medicine that studies the effect of diseases focusing on the structure of body organs. An anatomic pathologist does so by focussing on the disease both as a whole (grossly) and microscopically. The primary role of anatomic pathologist is to identify abnormalities that can help to diagnose disease and manage treatment. It requires an individual to have good observation skills.
Forensic Pathologist: Forensic pathology is a branch of pathology that mainly focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a corpse. A post mortem is performed by a medical examiner, usually during the investigation of criminal law cases and civil law cases in some jurisdictions. One needs to have an experience of at least four to five years in anatomic pathology or clinical pathology to become a forensic pathologist.
What is the workplace/work environment of Pathologist like?
A pathologist either works in a hospital or a research firm. In both the cases he or she works in a closed and clean environment. Being part of the medical field one has to be wearing clinical clothes as well in order to protect himself from any kind of infections.
Does Pathologist require travelling?
As a pathologist one does not require to travel. This is the case at least in the individual’s initial days. Once an individual has gained experience and made a good name in the market he or she may have to travel to different places in order to attend conferences or give a guest lecture. But, it is not a full-time travel based job.
The employment shift of a pathologist is full-time in nature. The duration is generally ranging between 45-55 hours a week. It often stretches depending on the workload on the individual. A pathologist could also practice on his or her own by setting up one’s own clinic or research firm. In that case the working hours will entirely depend on his or her preference and the client’s needs.
The nature of employment of a pathologist is permanent in nature. Any hospital or even a research based firm can hire him or her on a full-time basis. A pathologist can also work for himself or herself by setting one’s own clinic.
Presence in Geographical Area
Rural, Semi-urban, Urban
A pathologist mostly functions in an urban or semi-urban as well as rural location. In rural areas a pathologist is found mostly in government clinics.
A pathologist’s job is time bound as it is an essential service. Having said that, one cannot hurry in such professions either as it may cost a patient’s life. Therefore, a pathologist is required to pay adequate attention to his or her patients.
A pathologist may have to work overtime in order to check his or her patients.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 54 Hours
A pathologist works somewhere between nine to twelve hours a day. But, it may extend depending on the number of patients one has to attend.
How to become a Pathologist?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Pathologist?
Communication skills: The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most necessary skills required by a pathologist in order to perform his or her job duties. The laboratory team working under a pathologist should be able to understand the work that is expected out of them. Not only that, but seamless communication also helps in avoiding any sorts of miscommunication between the pathologist and the patient. Being able to communicate effectively becomes important in a high-stake team environment.
Attention to detail: A pathologist is required to make important decisions while treating a patient’s ailment or researching for a vaccine. Hence, he or she is required to pay meticulous attention to detail to produce highly accurate work even when under pressure. Paying attention to small details is essential during the operation. It is one of the most important skill sets required by an individual to become a pathologist.
Patience: A pathologist faces critical situations where he or she is required to stay calm and make decisions that might be an important factor in a patient’s life. A pathologist is one of the most essential members when it comes to the treatment of the disease as he or she is responsible for a proper diagnosis. The work he or she does help in keeping critically ill and medically unstable people alive. Situations like these required him or her to stay calm and level-headed.
Science skills: Nothing can be achieved without deep understanding and interest in the subject. In order to become a pathologist along with excelling in the career, it is important for the candidate to have a deep interest in science and technology. A good academic background is a non-negotiable requirement in the profession that can be achieved only through knowledge and a deep interest in science and technology.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Pathologist?
Internships are considered as the best possible way for gaining experience in an individual's career choice. Since the field of medicine is very critical as it deals with human lives one has to go through a compulsory internship before he or she can practice professionally as a pathologist. An internship is often referred to as a residency. Internships provide an aspiring candidate the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge he or she gained during the time in college, to bring them in practical use. Not only that, internships also enable the candidate to make connections in the field for future use. If he or she performs well during the internship several companies or organisations could also hire the candidate on a full time basis.
The candidate can get an internship either through his or her college, an online medium or he or she could also contact any hospital of choice directly. The internship period for a pathologist is between one to two years.
What is the job outlook for Pathologist?
A candidate who wishes to become a pathologist experiences quite a significant job growth. As and when the individual gains knowledge and experience he or she steps up the ladder of designation in the field of pathology. Since the field is vast and it continues to grow as science and technology evolve, there are plenty of job growth opportunities. Depending on the individual’s skills and credibility he or she could also begin practicing on his or her own. Currently, with the pandemic situation that is going on at a global level, several job opportunities are going to open for the people involved in the medical field.
It is a field that requires a lot of hard work and years of perseverance but once a candidate has completed the education there will be several job growth opportunities. Currently, the job market scenario for a pathologist is extremely bright. There are several job openings in both public as well as private sectors. This is mainly because of the evolution of science and technology. Another reason is the outbreak of Covid-19 which is expected to increase job opportunities in future for health workers. The job growth for a pathologist is expected to grow by 7.2 per cent by the end of 2026. It is higher than the average of most medical specialisation fields.
Frequently Asked Questions for Pathologist
Que. What is a pathologist’s salary?Ans.
For an entry-level post of a pathologist with a specialisation, the average total compensation offered is somewhere around Rs. 30,000 per month. After gaining the intermediate experience in the industry, he or she earns a monthly package of Rs. 2 lakh.
Que. Is a pathologist A doctor?Ans.
A pathologist is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing diseases by examining tissue samples and conducting research work based on nature and effects of a disease.
Que. What are the types of pathology?Ans.
Branches of pathology include:
Que. What tests are done in pathology?Ans.
Pathology tests cover blood tests, and tests on urine, stools and bodily tissues. A pathologist interprets the results of blood and pathology tests and looks for abnormalities that may point to disease, such as cancer and other chronic illnesses, or health risks, such as pre-diabetes.
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