Indeed the doctor’s doctor, a pathologist is a specialist in medical consultation. The professional opinion and analytic evidence provided by pathologists direct the basis for patient management.
The discipline of pathology is divided into two medical specialties – Anatomic Pathology (AP) and Clinical Pathology (CP). These two medical specialties are interrelated but distinct from each other. A pathologist can be licensed in AP, CP or both.
Anatomic pathologists are concerned with the diagnosis of disease through examination of specimens derived from surgical procedures. The biopsy specimen can be in the form of an organ, tissue or mass assessed by gross and microscopic analysis which may include biochemical, immunologic and molecular methods. The examination of the whole body (autopsy) is sometimes performed to investigate and determine the cause of a patient’s death.
Clinical pathologists are medical specialists who direct most of the divisions in a clinical laboratory. This area deals with diagnosis and monitoring of disease based on laboratory examination of bodily fluids such as blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, etc., including management of Microbiology and Blood Banking sections. Clinical pathology also provides knowledge and skill in patient and laboratory information systems and in quality control and assurance.