Pathologist Job Description

Pathologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a pathologist job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a pathologist. Feel free to use our pathologist job description template to produce your own pathologist job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a pathologist.


Who is a Pathologist?

Pathology has become one of the most prominent professions in the healthcare sector, as new and hazardous diseases proliferate all around the world.

A pathologist is indeed a medical expert who studies and performs various tests on the source, nature, effects, and treatment of chronic diseases continuously.

Pathologists are important professionals in the healthcare sector because they run lab tests and assist other doctors in making diagnoses. They are medical professionals who have received extra training in disease-related clinical laboratories.

A pathologist, on the other hand, is a clinician who uses the testing results on cells, fluid, and tissue samples to detect diseases that may be afflicting a person or group of individuals.

Blood tests, smear testing, and tissue extraction tests are all performed by a pathologist. After the tests are completed and the findings are received, a pathologist can either refer the patient to a specialist or, if the condition or disease is small, give the medication directly. In the case of a blood donation, a pathologist is in charge of ensuring that the blood is safe to be delivered into the body of the patient.


It is important to remember that anyone interested in a career in pathology should first choose a specialty area. Chemical pathology, cytopathology, forensic pathology, hematological pathology, immunopathology, medical microbiology pathology, neuropathology, pediatric pathology, dermatopathology, and molecular genetic pathology are some of the specialties available in this career path.

The majority of pathologists’ education is obtained through residencies and fellowships. Prospective Pathologists operate under the supervision of an experienced pathologist throughout these times, and they study forensics, illness diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions.

Pathologists collaborate with a team of Lab Technicians and Doctors in health institutions to perform multiple diagnostic tests and monitor disease. They also work in independent laboratories, private offices, and other medical institutions, as well as community, university, and government hospitals and clinics. The American Board of Pathology certifies several pathologists. This certification is to be renewed every ten years, according to the American Board of Pathology.

Pathologists typically hold a state license that allows them to practice medicine in their home state. Passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) is required to get this license.

Pathologists conduct scientific tests to diagnose diseases, therefore they must be systematic. Furthermore, they must be analytic, as they review a large number of research publications each day.


Pathologist Job Description

What is a pathologist job description? A pathologist job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a pathologist in an organization. Below are the pathologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a pathologist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

As a pathologist, you’ll be in charge of a frontline healthcare laboratory’s operations, as well as its employees. Although exact tasks differ depending on your expertise, some obligations are shared by all specialties, including:

  • Assessing and speaking with a variety of patients, as well as applying clinical skills to identify which tests should be performed.
  • Creating novel tests or processes to diagnose diseases early or more precisely.
  • Examining a patient’s body fluids and tissues to establish the source of their symptoms.
  • Ensuring autopsies are performed to ascertain the cause of death.
  • Microscopically examining material to detect illnesses or other irregularities.
  • Ensuring that Pathologic findings are communicated to surgeons or other clinicians.
  • Combining information from various sources into a single clinical study.
  • Organizing and overseeing the pathology staff, residents, and visiting pathologists’ work.
  • Analyzing the clinical data that is available to achieve more conclusive results.
  • Ensuring that Health and safety laws are followed.
  • Getting samples ready for analysis.
  • Preparing pathology reports that include a summary of the analysis, findings, and recommendations.
  • Developing and maintaining therapeutic connections with clients to guarantee that they receive high-quality care.
  • Studying genetic information and testing for possible effective therapies for diseases based on genetic data
  • Monitoring physical examinations on patients to take advice on how they can maintain their health and recover from ailments.
  • Keeping up with the latest breakthroughs in pathology and the practice of medicine.



To start a career in this field it is necessary to have the qualifications listed below:

  • A bachelor’s degree in biology, physics, or a closely related discipline is required.
  • A doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO) degree is required.
  • Experience working as a pathologist or in a similar position.
  • Completion of a residency or fellowship training program in pathology is required.
  • Experience with laboratory testing equipment such as microscopes and flow cytometers is required.
  • The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the United States Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA).
  • Medical license from state of practice.
  • Valid certification from the American Board of Pathology
  • Analytical and research abilities that are second-to-none.
  • Standing and bending for long periods.
  • Lifting to 15 pounds is required on occasion.
  • Communication skills that are both oral and written.


Essential Skills

The following are some of the most crucial abilities for a pathologist to master:

  • Problem-solving skills:

Pathologists employ problem-solving skills to assess several aspects that contribute to the formation of a diagnosis. They can make a much more actual diagnosis and offer answers to difficult problems. To comprehend which sets of a patient’s data are relevant to their health status, pathologists must be excellent problem solvers.

  • Attention to detail:

When treating a patient’s illness or studying a vaccine, a pathologist must make critical decisions. As a pathologist, you must pay close attention to and document a wide range of patient care data. A pathologist must also be thorough in his or her work to generate extremely accurate results even when working under duress. 

  • Data analysis skills:

A pathologist’s main job is to examine enormous amounts of genetic and biochemical diagnostic data to evaluate a patient’s health state. A pathologist needs modern analytics tools to make the most of the data gathered from diagnostic testing.

  • Science skills:

A candidate must have a strong interest in science and technology to become a pathologist and excel in the field. Nothing can be accomplished without a thorough comprehension of the subject and a strong desire to learn more about it. In pathologist occupations, a high academic background is a non-negotiable condition.

  • Patience:

A pathologist is frequently placed in situations in which he or she must remain cool and make decisions that could have a substantial influence on the patient’s life. Pathologists must be patient because they may have to wait for a long period to get a conclusion. A proper diagnosis is guaranteed if you wait the required amount of time. 

  • Empathy:

Pathologists routinely engage with patients and their families to discuss test results and treatment alternatives. Pathologists can use empathy to help them communicate with patients and their families, explaining healthcare data and providing answers. 

  • Communication skills:

Pathologists must be able to convey their findings on a patient’s condition in a way that does not mislead them or cause them to fear. Interactions with other healthcare workers are more likely to be successful if you have strong communication skills. Pathologists must be able to communicate well both verbally and in writing to do their jobs well. Communication breakdown between the pathologist and the patients as well as other physicians can also be avoided with the smooth flow of information.

  • Organizational skills:

Pathologists are responsible for keeping their chemical analysis laboratory in good working condition and ensuring that all ongoing projects and analyses are completed correctly. They must also meet with patients regularly throughout the day.

  • Physical stamina:

Pathologists must have the considerable physical stamina to raise and move their patients during autopsies. Physical stamina also aids in the performance of other physical duties during work.

  • Clinical and technological knowledge:

Pathologists require clinical and technological skills to comprehend medical systems and practices. They must have a broad and in-depth understanding of the most recent studies in pathology and medical diagnostics. A pathologist must be well-versed in the latest clinical techniques and technologies for diagnosing diseases and determining therapy options.


How to Become a Pathologist

To work as a pathologist, candidates must have the appropriate credentials. Make sure you can satisfy the basic requirements for this job, from your education to your skill set. As a prospective Pathologist, you can apply the steps below to start a journey in this career path:

●  Excel in High School:

One can initiate an interest in pathology as a career path from high school. As a prospective pathologist, succeeding in high school can give you a leg up on your studies. Advanced level chemistry, mathematics, biology, and physics are just a few of the rigorous math and science courses available. Volunteering in hospitals or clinics, as well as enrolling in summer internships, can help you gain a piece of knowledge in the healthcare sector.

  • Consider going back to school for a bachelor’s degree:

To prepare for a job in pathology, earn a bachelor’s degree in the area. While pathologists are not needed to acquire a specialized college degree, many choose to pursue one in pre-medicine, chemistry, or a similar discipline. Pathologists learn the principles of laboratory work as well as the knowledge in the field they’ll need in medical school in these programs. 

  • Consider focusing your efforts:

While earning your bachelor’s degree, consider focusing on pathology. Selecting a specialty during your undergraduate studies allows you to choose electives and medical school programs that are most relevant to your career objectives. Here are a few of the most crucial specialties to consider:

    • Chemical pathology or clinical biochemistry
    • In medicine, microbiology and virology are important.
    • Hematology
    • Histopathology
    • Immunology


  •  Obtain a  score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT):

Take the MCAT when you’re in your junior year of college. This standardized exam, which is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), assists medical schools in evaluating your skill and training set.

  • Obtain a Medical Degree:

Pursue a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree in medicine. They both use the same treatment approaches, but the latter also uses osteopathic manipulative medicine.

  • Make an application for your medical license:

Apply for your medical license once you’ve finished medical school. Pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) during your second year of school if you want to pursue an MD. If you want to be a DO, you must pass the US Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA).

  • Complete your residency:

After medical school, complete a pathology residency program. This allows you to experience different specialties and medical settings under the supervision of a specialist. In addition, you get hands-on training to build your skills and knowledge in this field.

  • Finish your residency:

Complete a pathology residency program after medical school. This allows you to gain expertise in a variety of disciplines and medical settings while being supervised by a professional. You’ll also get a better understanding of patient care and the various scenarios that can arise in a healthcare setting. Furthermore, you will receive on-the-job training to improve your abilities and expertise in this industry.

  • Earn your certification:

To receive your certification, you must pass either the anatomic pathology or the clinical pathology examination. You can become certified by the American Board of Pathology once you’ve completed your coursework. 

  • Keep your certification current:

In a 10-year cycle, you must complete a Maintenance of Certification Program to keep your certification. This program will offer you ongoing education to ensure that you have the expertise, information, and capabilities needed to perform the job as a pathologist.


Where to Work as a pathologist

Pathologists practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, medical laboratories, clinics, and private practices. They collaborate with a wide range of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and technicians. They also provide information about the findings of laboratory testing to patients and families, as well as address any concerns they may have.


Pathologist Salary Scale

Salary for pathologists is determined by their amount of education, years of experience, talents, location, and the type of pathology in which they specialize.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey, a pathologist’s income range is as follows.

  • Entry-level  (less than 1 year) – $83,821
  • Early career (1 to 4 years) – $126,163
  • Mid-career (5 to 9 years) – $152,191
  • Experienced level (10 to 19 years) – $199,200
  • After a long career (20+ years) – $280,261

Job Description

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