Patient Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pathologist? The dictionary defines the pathologist as the Medical Doctor trained and experienced to study the nature, cause, and development of diseases, and the structural and functional changes caused by them. The diagnostic is established after studying body tissue, fluids, secretions, or other types of specimens and the presence and stage of disease, all utilizing laboratory procedures and special equipment. Many refer to the pathologist as “the doctor’s doctor,” because in addition to determining the diagnosis, the pathologist acts as consultant to other medical practitioners. The pathologist may also perform autopsies to determine nature and extent of disease, cause of death, and effects of treatment. Due to the complex nature of pathology, modern pathologists require specialized training to specialize in particular fields such as bone and soft tissue, breast and ob-gyn, pediatric pathology.

What are the fields of pathology? The field of pathology has two distinct branches: Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology. As a patient, it is important to understand the distinction between these branches. The easist way to understand this concept is to think of anatomic pathology as the branch of pathology dealing with examining and diagnostic tissue, while clinical pathology deals primarily with body fluids.

What does a pathology report look like? A sample of an anatomic pathology report can be found here.

Why did I get a bill from RHA?

...but, I did not see a pathologist?