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."