clinical pathologist with specimens

What Are The Roles And Responsibilities Of A Clinical Pathologist?

A clinical pathologist is a medical professional that specializes in laboratory medicine and functions. These doctors in Southbank, Melbourne believe that having a clinical pathologist is essential in every clinic, hospital, or any medical institution.

A clinical pathologist is a medical professional that specializes in laboratory medicine and functions. They are healthcare providers that finished several training and programs to become effective and efficient in their chosen field. These doctors in Southbank, Melbourne believe that having a clinical pathologist is essential in every clinic, hospital, or any medical institution. Without them, it would be hard for medical practitioners to diagnose diseases and provide effective treatment to the patient.


What Is Clinical Pathology?

Clinical pathology or laboratory medicine is a part of the medical field that validates the diagnosis of certain diseases through laboratory testing. The tests include blood, tissues, and individual cells examination. Medical residency is required in this medical specialty. Science fields such as chemistry, biology, molecular pathology, and hematology are related to specializing in clinical pathology.

Branches of Clinical Pathology

Laboratory medicine is divided into three subparts, clinical chemistry, hematology, and immunopathology. each of these parts plays an important role in clinical pathology and have their own purposes.

Clinical chemistry is focused on the investigation of bodily fluids. The results are used to help in the diagnosis and therapy of the patient.

analyzing fluid samples

Hematology is the study of every cell, organ, and disease that can be related to blood. This subpart of clinical pathology specializes in the treatment of blood disorders or abnormalities. Anemia, leukemia, and lymphoma are some of the few things that hematology can diagnose and treat.

Immunopathology is a medical branch that examines the disease development caused by immune responses or any malformation in the immunity system. This study analyzes microorganisms and organ diseases that deal with the immune system and immunity.

Laboratory Divisions

Clinical pathologist specializes in different laboratory tests which include the following:

  1. Blood bank. Hepatitis and HIV are commonly diagnosed through blood banking.
  2. Toxicology. This focuses on the diagnosis of poisons and diseases.
  3. Biology and clinical chemistry.
  4. Serology. Serological tests aim to identify antibodies. It tries to determine the levels of the protein that our body produces.
  5. Microbiology. This test is done to figure out the number of microorganisms in the body.
  6. Hematology. Bone marrow problems and blood diseases are the most common conditions that hematology can diagnose.

Specimens Used in Laboratory Medicine

Bodily fluids that are used on laboratory tests can show different diseases that are slowly emerging in the body. Each fluid has its own purpose and can provide accurate results relating to the suspected disease of the patient. These fluids include:

  • Blood. This fluid can be used as a whole, or the pathologist can separate the white blood cells and red blood cells to accurately study the specimen. Blood is used to monitor the progression of the disease and to determine future infections and risks.
  • Urine. Urine tests are used to identify the number of bacteria in urine to figure out infections. Patients with suspected urinary tract infection are asked to submit urine samples as it is an easy way to diagnose bacteria.
  • Phlegm (sputum).  This is used to determine the severity of the cough and if it is leading to a serious respiratory disease.
  • Stool. Feces are used to diagnose certain defects in the digestive system.
  • Spinal fluid. This fluid is used to identify diseases of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Pleural fluids. Abnormalities and malfunctions in the respiratory system are often determined by conducting exams using pleural fluids.
  • Peritoneal fluids. Abdominal pain, swelling, and fever are some of the symptoms of peritonitis. Peritoneal fluids are used to identify diseases related to the abdomen.
  • Synovial joint fluids. These are used to diagnose certain joint issues and provide a potential treatment for the patient.
  • Bone marrow. In this laboratory test, a small amount of the bone with marrow will be used to validate cancer or bone marrow disorders.


Roles Of  A Clinical Pathologist

different specimensClinical pathologists are responsible for so many things that correlate with laboratory medicine. Their main tasks are performing tests, executing laboratory duties, and persistently doing research with regards to pathology. Their function is to analyze bodily fluids and tissue samples followed by studying, diagnosing, and treatment of the disease. They are also expected to provide assistance to other medical associates.

The main responsibilities of a clinical pathologist include the following:

  1. Analyzing specimens or samples with the use of laboratory tools and paraphernalia. These instruments will help the pathologist to study and execute tests to come up with accurate results and diagnosis.
  2. They search for the irregularity or malformation in the specimen to get confirmation of the disease and present the results to the designated medical professional.
  3. Clinical pathologists refer to previous records relating to laboratory medicine to conduct the re-examination of the sample.
  4. They’re expected to suggest treatment options according to their knowledge of the disease and the abnormalities found on the specimen.
  5. In clinical pathology, detailed reports, test results, and overall diagnosis is important, This is a task for the pathologist.
  6. Pathologists are obliged to find ways to improve their methods and practices. They are encouraged to present unconventional procedures to treat a disease.
  7. Laboratory medicine keeps on progressing as time goes by, it is important for a clinical pathologist to keep up with the amplified methods and procedures in the medical field.

Qualifications of Clinical Pathologist

Studying and finishing clinical pathology is not enough to be recognized as a professional clinical pathologist. They are required to submit plenty of documents and finish multiple programs, studies, training, and licenses in order to get the dream job. Before getting hired, they need to undergo several medical practices to reach a higher step.

Here is a list of the qualifications of a clinical pathologist:


  • Passed biology and chemistry in High School
  • Finished a bachelors degree that majors in biology, chemistry, or premedical studies
  • Earned a master’s degree in pathology, biology, or chemistry
  • Finished 4-year medical school and acquire a Doctor of Medicine degree


  • Obtained a 4-year hospital residency.
  • Has knowledge in using laboratory tools and equipment
  • Can provide accurate results according to the test outcome


  • High school and Bachelor’s degree diploma
  • certification of the passed medical licensing exam
  • certification from the board of clinical pathology
  • updated clinical pathology licenses


  • has strong oral and written skills
  • can work with a team
  • extraordinary skills to research and analyze data


Life of A Clinical Pathologist

Although being a clinical pathologist is a rewarding career to take, this profession leaves many pathologists feeling lonely and outcast. Because their job includes daily routine tasks and responsibilities, things could get a little dull for them.

Some clinical pathologist also expresses dismay caused by their everyday regimen. Unlike doctors who see their patients regularly, clinical pathologists are at the back door examining fluids and doing researches on their own.2 clinical pathologist

Additionally, not everyone is aware of their job responsibilities, they always end up explaining their job to their family and friends. It can get pretty sad when you cannot share details and information about your career with the people you care about because they basically have no knowledge of what a clinical pathologist can do.

But in summary, clinical pathology represents an important role in the medical field. Without these medical practitioners, the diagnosis of diseases will be difficult to achieve. They play a vital role in treating a patient without even showing their face to the treated person. They do their jobs behind doors, yet they are a huge contributor to the patient’s treatment development.

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