Physicians and Pathologists

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ABOUT PHYSICIAN AND PATHOLOGIST CAREERS
Video transcript

While many day-to-day ailments can be cured with rest and fluids or a trip to the primary care doctor, when more serious illness rears its head a physician with specialized training and experience may be called for. All physicians share essential tasks, such as examining patients; taking medical histories; using tests to help make a diagnosis; and prescribing medications. They may counsel patients on healthy habits and how to keep well. Some physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating ailments in a particular organ or area of the body, a type of illness, or a mode of treatment, for example, Allergists and immunologists treat allergic diseases and those that affect the immune system. Dermatologists help patients with skin conditions. Neurologists specialize in diseases and disorders of the nervous system. Pathologists study the causes and nature of diseases. Radiologists use X-rays and radioactive materials to identify disease. Doctors of sports medicine help athletes prevent injuries, and treat those that occur during sporting events and training. Physicians and surgeons often have long, demanding workweeks. Unlike in primary care, the patients cared for by these specialists have already been referred because of their symptoms so they are often more ill, with more serious conditions. Physicians and surgeons have extensive education and training. After a bachelor's degree, physicians earn a medical degree, which typically takes 4 years to complete, and then 3 to 7 years of internship and residency programs, depending on the specialty.

SNAPSHOT
Diagnose diseases and conduct lab tests using organs, body tissues, and fluids. Includes medical examiners.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Develop or adopt new tests or instruments to improve diagnosis of diseases.

Perform autopsies to determine causes of deaths.

Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.

Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents, or visiting pathologists.

Educate physicians, students, and other personnel in medical laboratory professions, such as medical technology, cytotechnology, or histotechnology.

Manage medical laboratories.

Analyze and interpret results from tests, such as microbial or parasite tests, urine analyses, hormonal assays, fine needle aspirations (FNAs), and polymerase chain reactions (PCRs).

Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions, using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, or molecular biology.

Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.

Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.

Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
TOP SKILLS
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.