Career Development

16 Pathologist Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Pathologist skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Pathologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and studying diseases. They use a variety of skills to examine tissues and organs, identify diseases and disorders, and develop treatment plans. If you’re interested in becoming a pathologist, it’s important to understand the skills that are necessary for this career.


Pathology is the study of disease and its effects on the body. A pathologist uses their knowledge of pathology to interpret medical images, which can help them identify diseases or conditions that may require treatment. This skill set also includes an understanding of how different diseases affect the human body so a pathologist can determine what treatments are most effective for each condition.

Analytical Skills

A pathologist’s job requires them to analyze and interpret data. They must be able to identify patterns in the results of their tests, which requires analytical skills. This also includes being able to determine what types of tests are necessary for a patient based on their symptoms. For example, if a patient has an abnormal blood test result, the pathologist may order additional tests to find out why this happened.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is a necessary skill for pathologists, as they must be able to accurately record their observations and findings during an autopsy. This requires attention to detail when recording information about the deceased person’s medical history, performing tests on body tissues and documenting any abnormalities found during the examination.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. As a pathologist, you may encounter challenges in your work that require problem-solving skills. For example, if you notice an abnormality during an examination, you might need to find ways to solve the issue so you can provide accurate results. You also use problem-solving skills when troubleshooting medical equipment or resolving workplace conflicts.


A pathologist’s ability to interpret medical images, such as X-rays and CT scans, is an important skill. This allows them to identify abnormalities in the body that may be cancerous or otherwise require treatment. It also helps them determine whether a patient has received adequate treatment for their condition. For example, if a patient had surgery on their knee but an image shows they still have a tumor there, the pathologist can recommend additional treatment.


A pathologist’s job is to examine and interpret medical data. They must be able to observe the microscopic details of cells, tissues and organs in order to make accurate diagnoses. This requires attention to detail and a thorough understanding of anatomy. Observation skills are also important for reading test results and interpreting data from other laboratory tests.


A pathologist’s knowledge of physiology is important because it allows them to understand how the body functions and what changes occur when a disease or condition develops. This helps them interpret test results, determine treatment options and explain medical conditions to patients. A background in anatomy can also be helpful for understanding the physiological processes that drive bodily functions like digestion, respiration and circulation.


Anatomy is the study of the body’s systems and how they work together. As a pathologist, you need to understand how each part of the body functions in order to identify abnormalities or diseases. For example, if you are examining a brain, you need to know where the different lobes are located and what their function is. This allows you to make an accurate diagnosis.


Communication is the ability to convey information in a clear and understandable manner. As a pathologist, you may need to communicate with patients about their diagnosis or prognosis. You also may have to explain your findings to other medical professionals who are treating the patient. Strong communication skills can help you relay complex medical information clearly so that others can understand it.

Medical Terminology

Medical terminology is the specialized language used by medical professionals to discuss patient conditions and treatment options. Having a strong understanding of medical terminology can help pathologists communicate with other health care providers, such as surgeons or oncologists, when discussing test results or treatment plans. It’s also important for pathology assistants to have an extensive knowledge of medical terminology so they can accurately transcribe dictation from their supervising pathologist.


A pathologist uses statistics to interpret data and make conclusions about a patient’s condition. For example, they may use statistics to determine the most common causes of death in their area or how likely it is for patients with certain symptoms to have a particular disease. This information can help them provide more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans for future patients.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make logical decisions. As a pathologist, you may need to think critically when examining tissue samples or performing tests on patients. For example, if you notice an abnormality in a patient’s biopsy, you might use critical thinking skills to determine what caused it and how best to treat it.


A pathologist uses chemistry skills to analyze bodily fluids and tissue samples. They use these skills to identify diseases, determine the cause of death and develop treatment plans for patients. For example, a pathologist may examine blood samples to find abnormalities in hormone levels that indicate cancerous cells.


A pathologist uses biology skills to analyze and interpret medical test results. They need to understand how the body works in order to identify diseases, determine treatment options and predict outcomes. For example, a pathologist may examine blood samples under a microscope to check for signs of cancer or other conditions. They also use their biology knowledge when reading scans and interpreting images from an MRI machine or CT scan.


Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms. A pathologist uses this skill to examine cells and tissues, which are often too small for the naked eye to see. This knowledge allows a pathologist to identify diseases and other conditions that may be present in a patient’s body. It also helps them determine what treatment options would be most effective.


A pathologist’s job involves examining tissue samples to determine the cause of a patient’s illness or disease. This requires extensive knowledge in medical science and anatomy, as well as laboratory skills such as urinalysis. A pathologist uses these skills to examine urine samples from patients to detect any abnormalities that may indicate an underlying condition.

How Can I Learn These Pathologist Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become a pathologist. Firstly, you will need to have a strong foundation in the sciences, specifically biology, chemistry, and physics. Secondly, it is important to be able to understand and interpret medical images, so radiology and pathology courses would be beneficial. Finally, you must be able to effectively communicate your findings to other members of the medical team, so courses in medical terminology and communication would be helpful.


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