Physicians, Pathologist Career

Job Description: Diagnose diseases and conduct lab tests using organs, body tissues, and fluids. Includes medical examiners.


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Physicians, Pathologist Career

What Physicians, Pathologists do:

  • Consult with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.
  • Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions, using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, or molecular biology.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.
  • Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.
  • Educate physicians, students, and other personnel in medical laboratory professions, such as medical technology, cytotechnology, or histotechnology.
  • Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.
  • Examine microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.
  • Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.
  • Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents, or visiting pathologists.
  • Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.
  • 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).
  • Develop or adopt new tests or instruments to improve diagnosis of diseases.
  • Perform autopsies to determine causes of deaths.
  • Manage medical laboratories.
  • Conduct genetic analyses of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or chromosomes to diagnose small biopsies and cell samples.
  • Obtain specimens by performing procedures, such as biopsies or fine needle aspirations (FNAs) of superficial nodules.
  • 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.
  • Conduct research and present scientific findings.
  • Testify in depositions or trials as an expert witness.

What work activities are most important?

Importance 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.

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

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

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Holland Code Chart for a Physicians, Pathologist