Anatomic Pathologist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

anatomic pathologist job description

In an era of advanced medicine, the importance of anatomic pathologists has never been greater.

As the field of medicine evolves, the demand for skilled professionals who can scrutinize, interpret, and diagnose through the lens of pathological anatomy escalates.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an anatomic pathologist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager crafting the profile of an ideal candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricate world of anatomic pathology,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a customizable anatomic pathologist job description template, designed for seamless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Anatomic Pathologist Duties and Responsibilities

Anatomic Pathologists perform duties related to the diagnosis and study of diseases.

They use laboratory testing of bodily fluids and tissues to identify diseases and contribute to the medical understanding of these conditions.

Anatomic Pathologists have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Examine and interpret tissue samples and bodily fluids in the laboratory
  • Perform autopsies to determine cause of death or disease
  • Work closely with other medical professionals to assist in patient diagnosis and treatment
  • Document findings and patient information for future reference and continued patient care
  • Conduct research to understand the nature of diseases and how they progress
  • Communicate with physicians, patients, and families about diagnosis or prognosis
  • Participate in conferences and training to stay current with the latest technological advancements and research in pathology
  • Ensure all lab safety procedures are followed, and that each test is performed according to the correct protocols


Anatomic Pathologist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a dedicated Anatomic Pathologist to join our healthcare team.

The Anatomic Pathologist will be responsible for diagnosing diseases using body tissues, fluids, and cells.

This will involve conducting examinations, performing laboratory tests and interpreting results.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in pathology with a special focus on anatomic pathology, excellent analytical skills and the ability to collaborate effectively with other healthcare professionals.



  • Examine and interpret results from laboratory tests on body tissues, fluids, and cells
  • Diagnose diseases and conditions based on laboratory findings
  • Work in collaboration with other pathologists and healthcare professionals
  • Maintain accurate records of all tests conducted and results obtained
  • Adhere to laboratory safety protocols and maintain cleanliness in the laboratory
  • Stay updated on advancements in pathology and related fields
  • Participate in research projects and present findings at professional conferences
  • Provide guidance and supervision to junior pathologists and laboratory staff



  • Medical degree and completion of a pathology residency
  • Board certified in Anatomic Pathology
  • Proven work experience as an Anatomic Pathologist
  • Strong understanding of laboratory procedures and equipment
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail and ability to work under pressure
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills
  • Good computer skills and ability to work with laboratory information systems



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Anatomic Pathologist
  • Work Environment: Hospital setting with occasional need for overtime. Some travel may be required for conferences and professional development.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Head of Pathology Department.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $200,000 minimum to $350,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Anatomic Pathologist Do?

Anatomic Pathologists typically work in hospitals, laboratories, or medical schools.

They often collaborate with other healthcare professionals such as surgeons, oncologists, and radiologists.

Anatomic Pathologists focus on studying diseases at the organ and tissue level to identify the cause of a patient’s illness.

They do this by examining biopsies, surgical resections, and autopsies.

The job of an Anatomic Pathologist is to analyze specimens under a microscope and perform various other laboratory tests to diagnose diseases.

These diseases can range from cancer to infectious diseases.

One of their primary responsibilities is to provide a detailed report of their findings, which helps in determining the most effective treatment plan for a patient.

They also play a crucial role in medical research, contributing to the understanding and discovery of new diseases, as well as the development of new diagnostic techniques and treatments.

In addition, they often consult with other physicians, providing their expert opinion and interpretation on complex cases, and they may also be involved in teaching medical students and residents.

Overall, an Anatomic Pathologist plays an essential role in patient care by providing accurate and timely diagnosis, contributing to the optimal management of diseases.


Anatomic Pathologist Qualifications and Skills

Anatomic Pathologists use a combination of medical knowledge, technical skills, and analytical abilities to diagnose disease and conditions from examining body tissues and fluids.

The skills and qualifications required for this role include:

  • Extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology to understand the changes in body tissues and cells caused by disease.
  • Proficiency in laboratory techniques, including histological preparation and staining, to accurately examine specimens under a microscope.
  • Strong diagnostic skills to interpret test results, identify abnormalities, and determine the nature of diseases or conditions.
  • Attention to detail and precision to ensure accurate and reliable results in tissue examination and diagnosis.
  • Strong communication skills to effectively convey test results and diagnoses to other healthcare professionals.
  • Good understanding of medical ethics and legal requirements pertaining to patient confidentiality and informed consent.
  • Ability to work well within a team, often collaborating with other physicians, surgeons, and healthcare professionals.
  • Problem-solving abilities to identify and resolve issues that may arise during specimen analysis and diagnosis.
  • Continuous learning to stay updated with advances in medical technology and pathology best practices.


Anatomic Pathologist Experience Requirements

Anatomic pathologists generally complete a medical degree, followed by a residency in pathology.

This significant amount of theoretical and practical experience is crucial to become an anatomic pathologist.

During their residency, they gain hands-on experience performing autopsies, biopsies, and other laboratory tests.

They also develop a deep understanding of diseases, their causes, and their effects on the body.

After the residency, some anatomic pathologists choose to specialize in a particular area, such as neuropathology or cardiovascular pathology.

In these cases, they would need to complete a fellowship, where they would gain focused experience in their chosen specialty.

Most medical institutions require anatomic pathologists to have at least a few years of post-residency experience before they can practice independently.

This requirement varies, but it is usually at least two to three years.

Those with more than 5 years of experience in the field may qualify for leadership roles such as department head or director of pathology.

In these roles, they would be responsible for overseeing the work of other pathologists and lab staff, as well as setting policies and procedures for the department.

Additionally, to maintain their licensure and stay current in the field, anatomic pathologists must participate in continuing education throughout their careers.

This can include attending conferences, completing online courses, or publishing research in peer-reviewed journals.


Anatomic Pathologist Education and Training Requirements

Anatomic Pathologists are required to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field as the first step in their educational journey.

Following this, they must attend medical school, which typically takes four years to complete, and earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Some may also opt for a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.

After earning their medical degree, aspiring Anatomic Pathologists must undertake a residency program in pathology, which generally lasts for three to four years.

This residency is designed to provide extensive training in the diagnosis and classification of diseases through the examination of organs, tissues, and bodies (autopsies).

After the residency, they may choose to specialize further by pursuing a fellowship in a sub-specialty of Anatomic Pathology such as neuropathology, pediatric pathology, forensic pathology, or surgical pathology.

This fellowship usually lasts for 1-2 years.

Once the training is complete, the individual must pass a licensing exam to practice medicine, followed by a separate board certification exam in Anatomic Pathology.

The certification is typically provided by the American Board of Pathology.

Continued medical education (CME) is also necessary to stay updated with the latest advancements in the field of pathology.

Many institutions require regular CME for the pathologist to maintain their licenses and certifications.

The entire journey to becoming an Anatomic Pathologist involves rigorous and extensive training, but it equips individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to diagnose and understand diseases.


Anatomic Pathologist Salary Expectations

An Anatomic Pathologist earns an average salary of $209,000 (USD) per year.

The salary can significantly vary depending on the level of experience, specialization, geographical location, and the nature of the employing facility.


Anatomic Pathologist Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Anatomic Pathologist need?

An Anatomic Pathologist should have strong analytical and critical thinking skills to assess and interpret lab results.

They should also possess excellent attention to detail to identify abnormalities in samples.

Communication skills are essential, as they need to explain complex medical terms and conditions to patients and healthcare professionals.


What is the educational requirement for an Anatomic Pathologist?

An Anatomic Pathologist must have a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

After earning an MD, they must complete a pathology residency, which can take four to six years.

They can then choose to specialize in anatomic pathology through a fellowship program.

Additionally, they must pass a licensing exam to practice pathology.


What should you look for in an Anatomic Pathologist’s resume?

Check for a medical degree from a recognized institution, a completed residency in pathology, and preferably a fellowship in anatomic pathology.

Confirm their license to practice medicine and specialty certification from the American Board of Pathology.

Also, look for experience in diagnosing diseases by examining body tissues, cells, and fluids.


What qualities make a good Anatomic Pathologist?

A good Anatomic Pathologist has an analytical mind and a keen eye for detail to spot abnormalities in tissue samples.

They should be thorough and careful in their examinations to avoid diagnostic errors.

They should also have good communication skills to explain complex medical information to other healthcare professionals and patients, if necessary.


Is it difficult to hire an Anatomic Pathologist?

Hiring an Anatomic Pathologist can be challenging due to the specific skills and qualifications required for the role.

There is also a smaller pool of candidates compared to other healthcare professions.

You may need to offer competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain qualified Anatomic Pathologists.



So, there you have it.

Today, we’ve dissected the core responsibilities and intricacies of being an anatomic pathologist.

Surprise, surprise.

It’s not just about analysing body tissues.

It’s about helping to unravel the mysteries of the human body, one tissue sample at a time.

With our comprehensive anatomic pathologist job description template and real-world examples, you’re ready to take the next step.

But why stop there?

Delve deeper with our job description generator. It’s your stepping-stone to creating precise job listings or refining your CV to absolute perfection.

Keep in mind:

Every tissue sample is a piece of the larger medical puzzle.

Let’s solve that puzzle. Together.

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