Pathologists are medical doctors who specialize in the examination of tissue and blood samples to diagnose disease and who perform autopsies.
Pathologists analyze and evaluate all tissues removed from people by such procedures as surgery or biopsy. They also are in charge of the clinical laboratories that analyze blood and body fluid samples. For example, when a person has a mole removed or has a Pap test, a pathologist examines the specimen to determine the diagnosis. Treatment decisions are often made based on the pathology report.
Pathologists can be board-certified in a number of subspecialties through the American Board of Pathology, which is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialities.