Pathology is a branch of medicine that studies the causes, development and consequences of diseases. It is one of the pillars of medicine and an essential basic discipline for healthcare professionals. The aim of this speciality is to make a correct diagnosis from tests requested by other medical experts, such as biopsies, surgical specimens, smear tests and autopsies. Therefore, pathology is multidiscplinary and underpins every stage of patient care, from diagnosis to treatment.
What does a pathologist do?
Pathologists are essential in the diagnosis of diseases and ensuring patients are given the correct treatments.
Due to the nature of pathology as a specialty being more behind-the-scenes of patient care, it is unlikely that you would visit a pathologist specifically. However, your specialist (e.g. an oncologist) would consult with a pathologist to be advised on the results of any blood tests or biopsies. The oncologist would then take next steps based on the results of these, which are determined by a pathologist.