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How do I Become a Histopathologist?

By Jill Gonzalez
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A histopathologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the study of human or animal tissue. More specifically, a histopathologist is responsible for providing data that helps determine a cause for certain diseases or that pinpoints the progression of a disease. To become a histopathologist, one must be comfortable in a laboratory setting because this is where the majority of the work will probably be completed. Histopathologists must complete several years of education and be appropriately certified to work in this field.

In order to become a histopathologist, candidates must have completed medical school or veterinarian school. In addition, qualified individuals will also have a board certification in pathology. Extensive scientific experience is usually a necessity, and in many places of employment, training as a molecular pathologist is also desirable.

People who want to become a histopathologist should have extensive technical capabilities so that they can successfully adapt to a variety of different laboratory situations or requirements that may be unique to the particular job for which they have been hired. Many job postings will specifically mention certain technical requirements that potential candidates must meet in order to be eligible for consideration. Some of those technical requirements include direct experience in nucleic acid detection methods as applied to tissue samples and experience in the development of novel protein.

To become a histopathologist and meet with success in the workplace, candidates should have a broad range of knowledge and understanding of both pathological and clinical components of different types of disease. In some situations, these professionals may come in direct contact with patients in order to obtain tissue samples, but this is really not the norm for most positions. Some career positions within this field also allow professionals to conduct quite a bit of research. In some cases, histopathologists may even be required by their employer to conduct a certain amount of clinical research each year so that they can contribute to professional journals.

Some of the most successful people in this field reportedly have an excellent problem solving mentality, visual pattern recognition skills, and the ability to work as a member of a team. It is also quite beneficial to have an inquisitive mind, the ability to make decisions independently, and outstanding interpersonal skills. Communication is a key component of being an effective histopathologist, so it is important for candidates to have the ability to communicate orally and in writing in a straightforward, logical manner.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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