A student who is fascinated with the causes of disease and death might decide to go to medical school and become a pathologist.

A medical doctor who performs autopsies to learn how patients died is a pathologist. Other pathologists trace illness back to their root causes, or diagnose diseases such as cancer. When a doctor decides to to become a pathologist, her field is called "pathology." The Greek root of both words is pathologikos, "treating of disease," which combines pathos, "suffering," with logia, "study, or the study of."

Definitions of pathologist
  1. noun
    a doctor who specializes in medical diagnosis
    synonyms: diagnostician
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    Sir Howard Walter Florey
    British pathologist who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1898-1968)
    Karl Landsteiner
    United States pathologist (born in Austria) who discovered human blood groups (1868-1943)
    Sir James Paget
    English pathologist who discovered the cause of trichinosis (1814-1899)
    Francis Peyton Rous
    United States pathologist who discovered viruses that cause tumors (1879-1970)
    Rudolf Karl Virchow
    German pathologist who recognized that all cells come from cells by binary fission and who emphasized cellular abnormalities in disease (1821-1902)
    aetiologist, etiologist
    a specialist in the etiology of diseases
    type of:
    medical specialist, specialist
    practices one branch of medicine
Word Family
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