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  Elaine Steiro

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Pathologist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

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These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

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At a Glance... header image

A fully qualified medical doctor who specialises in examining and studing the causes and effects of various diseases and illnesses.


The Work header image

Pathologists investigate the cause and effect of disease. They work in laboratories, supervising the work of other laboratory staff. Their work includes chemical pathology, cytopathology, dental and oral pathology, molecular biology, haematology, histopathology, immunopathology, medical microbiology, molecular pathology and neuropathology.  
 
Pathology is a lot more than just autopsies. They also work in hospital labs or research institutes.  
 
Two examples of Pathologists' work are:  
 
Histopathologists, those who diagnose disease from changes in tissue structure  
Chemical Pathologists, those who look at the biochemical nature of disease.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Examine microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.

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Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, and molecular biology.

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Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.

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Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.

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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).

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Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.

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Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.

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Consult with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.

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Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents or visiting pathologists.

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Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Training and Teaching Others:  Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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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.

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Biology:  Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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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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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.

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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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.

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Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

The life of a Pathologist involves long working hours but is rewarding and stimulating. The work can be tedious with a lot of experimental procedures to follow, step by step.  
 
A medical career involves a long period of academic and clinical training. This means that you must have considerable physical and mental stamina.


Entry Routesheader image

To become a pathologist, you must first qualify as a medical doctor.  

It is usually during the internship year required for the purposes of registration that most newly qualified doctors decide on which branch of medicine to pursue. Some doctors enter general practice, while others pursue specialisation in hospital practice such as Pathology.  

Practical and Technical Training  
Once a primary degree in medicine has been obtained, and a year of internship has been completed, a training post in a pathology laboratory must be obtained. The duties of a Pathologist include performing autopsies to document causes of death.  
 
To become a fully accredited Pathologist takes a further five years. After three years training, an examination in the first part of the membership of the Royal College of Pathologists may be taken, and two years later the second examination may be taken  
 
A successful candidate can then become a member of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (Faculty of Pathology) and is eligible to become a Consultant Pathologist in a hospital.

Last Updated: November, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
  Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
  Tel: 01 635 2000
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
  Address: Frederick House, 19 South Federick Street Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 8639700
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish Medical Organisation
  Address: 10 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 676 7273
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Department of Justice - State Pathologists Office
  Address: Fire Brigade Training Centre, Malahide Road, Marino, Dublin 3
  Tel: (01) 853 4871
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish Medical Council
  Address: Kingram House, Kingram Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 498 3100
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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