How do I become a pathologist?

I’m currently in first year Science… and when I’m done, I’d like to get into pathology, but how? There’s no post-grad degree (Australia, that I know of) and the guidance counsellor I talked to only recommended I take microbiology courses.
Is it on the job training… Or is there a course?

I’m not sure, you should check, but I think they like doctors to be pathologists. Not just Phd doctors mind you, but real doctors, MD’s. Someone that knows will make it clear, but I think I’m right.

I don’t know about Australia, but here pathologists are regular physicians with the same medical degree and most likely the equivalent of an MD. Pathology is an on-the-job specialisation like different types of surgery, cardiology…

Damn. I figured as much.

I only know about the US (my uncle is a pathologist there) but as others said, a pathologist is a medical doctor who specializes in pathology. You need to go to medical school like any doctor, and get specialized training while there. Just like being a specialist in any other field of medicine (brain surgery, oncology, ob-gyn, etc).

It does seem to be a good career choice who wants to be a doctor but doesn’t want to deal with patients personally. Pathologists mostly interact with other doctors and technitians.

You could become a technologist in a pathology lab. In the United States, that generally requires at least a bachelor’s degree.

Call your local hospital and ask to speak to someone in the pathology department for further guidance.


I know many PhD’s who work in Pathology Departments. When I was in Med/Grad school, a prominent Alzheimer’s researcher was a PhD on the faculty in the pathology department.

Of course, he didn’t do the job of a pathologist (autopsies, diagnosing disease from histologic sections), he researched Alzheimer’s.

After working in a Pathology lab for 9 years, I can tell you that very few techs liked their jobs. Hematology, chemistry etc. are virtually automated, you just need the tech to operate the machine. Histology techs deal with tissue but its like being on a production line, a really boring job.

As far as the pathologists go, they spend their days staring down microscopes. I think TV shows like CSI have glamorized lab work, believe me, its not like that.

I don’t think CSI is like real pathology at all. The idea never occured to me. I do have a friend who is doing a bach. of Criminology/Forensic Science who I think might’ve taken the show a bit too seriously.