Pathologist physicians diagnose diseases and conduct lab tests using organs, body tissues, and fluids. Includes medical examiners.



  • Examine microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.
  • Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions, using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, or molecular biology.
  • Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.
  • Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.
  • Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.
  • Consult with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.
  • Analyze and interpret results from tests, such as microbial or parasite tests, urine analyses, hormonal assays, fine needle aspirations (FNAs), and polymerase chain reactions (PCRs).
  • Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.
  • Manage medical laboratories.
  • Develop or adopt new tests or instruments to improve diagnosis of diseases.
  • Educate physicians, students, and other personnel in medical laboratory professions, such as medical technology, cytotechnology, or histotechnology.
  • Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents, or visiting pathologists.
  • Perform autopsies to determine causes of deaths.
  • 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.
  • Obtain specimens by performing procedures, such as biopsies or fine needle aspirations (FNAs) of superficial nodules.
  • Conduct genetic analyses of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or chromosomes to diagnose small biopsies and cell samples.
  • Conduct research and present scientific findings.
  • Testify in depositions or trials as an expert witness.
Work Context
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 98% responded "Every day".
  • Electronic Mail — 93% responded "Every day".
  • Time Pressure — 91% responded "Every day".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 88% responded "Extremely important".
  • Telephone — 84% responded "Every day".
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 76% responded "Very important results".
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 85% responded "A lot of freedom".
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Work Activities
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
  • Analyze medical data to determine cause of death.
  • Manage healthcare operations.
  • Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
  • Develop health assessment methods or programs.
  • Train medical providers.
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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.
  • 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.
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Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
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Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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You might use software like this on the job:

Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office Hot Technology
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Medical software
  • McKesson Horizon Lab
  • NetSoft IntelliPath
  • Niceware International LabelClinic CT
  • Novovision NovoPath
  • Omnitech OMNILAB
  • Orchard Software Orchard Harvest LIS
  • Orchard Software Orchard Pathology
  • PathLogix
  • PathView Systems Progeny
  • Psyche Systems LabWeb
  • NeTLIMS AutoLIMS Core Lab
  • NeTLIMS AutoFusion
  • McKesson Horizon MobileCare Phlebotomy
  • MEDITECH Anatomical Pathology
  • Mediware Information Systems HCLL Donor
  • Mediware Information Systems HCLL Transfusion
  • Mediware Information Systems LifeTrak
  • Multidata Computer Systems MultiTech
  • NeTLIMS AutoAP
  • Psyche Systems Systematic Blood Bank
  • Psyche Systems WindoPath
  • Sunquest Information Systems Sunquest Collection Manager
  • Sunquest Information Systems Sunquest CoPathPlus
  • Sunquest Information Systems Sunquest Laboratory
  • Sunquest Information Systems Sunquest Transfusion Manager
  • WebPathLab
  • Wyndgate Technologies ElDorado Donor
  • Wyndgate Technologies SafeTrace
  • Small Business Computers of New England AP Easy
  • Siemens Patient Identification Check
  • Quality Software Systems LabHealth
  • SCC Soft Computer SoftBank
  • SCC Soft Computer SoftDonor
  • SCC Soft Computer SoftLab
  • SCC Soft Computer SoftPath
  • Schuyler House SchuyLab
  • Seacoast Laboratory Data Systems SurroundLab Plus
  • Siemens NOVIUS Lab
  • ClinLab LIS
  • Comp Pro Med Polytech
  • Computer Trust WinSurge
  • Cortex Medical Management Systems The Gold Standard
  • CPSI CPSI System
  • CSS CLS-2000
  • Custom Software Systems StarLab
  • Clinical Software Solutions CLIN1 Suite
  • Clinical Information Systems CISLab CPS
  • Anatomic pathology software
  • Antek HealthWare LabDAQ
  • Aspyra CyberLAB
  • Aspyra CyberPATH
  • Blood Bank Computer Systems Blood Bank Control System
  • Blood bank information systems
  • Cerner CoPathPlus
  • Cerner Millennium PathNet
  • Cerner Millennium PathNet Blood Bank Transfusion
  • EasyPath Software Pathology Assistant
  • Elekta Impac Software IntelliLab
  • Healthvision TDSynergy LIS
  • HEX Laboratory Systems LAB/HEX
  • HT Systems PatientSecure
  • Iatric Systems MobiLab
  • Korchek Technologies CareChek
  • Laboratory information system LIS
  • LabSoft LabNet
  • Lattice MediCopia
  • McKesson Horizon Anatomic Pathology
  • Healthvision TDSynergy Anatomic Pathology
  • Elekta Impac Software PowerPath
  • EpicLab Laboratory Information System
  • eTeleNext AP Anywhere
  • eTeleNext LIS
  • Fletcher-Flora Health Care Systems FFlex eSuite LIS
  • Fletcher-Flora Health Care Systems LabPak LIS
  • GE Healthcare Centricity Laboratory
  • GE Healthcare Centricity Laboratory Anatomic Pathology/Cytology
  • GE Healthcare Centricity Laboratory Transfusion Medicine
  • Haemonetics Symphony Suite
  • McKesson Horizon Blood Bank
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