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Clinical Pathology

The scope of clinical pathology includes primarily overseeing laboratory testing as performed on blood and various body fluids. The main branches of clinical pathology include clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and transfusion medicine. While the overwhelming bulk of the work that goes on in the clinical laboratory is accomplished by medical technologists trained to work with automated analyzers, a portion of work still remains for a person of doctorate degree to do. Because of the rapid development of technology, tests sometimes reach the mainstream of use before their results are completely understood. Pathologists are sometimes called upon to investigate lab results that don’t seem to fit. A pathologist or Ph.D. may be called upon to help interpret the results and correlate them with symptoms and signs gathered by the clinical physician. The clinical laboratory sometimes generates glass slides that require identification of a type of leukemia in hematology or identification of an unusual pathogen in microbiology. Overall, with respect to the clinical laboratory, the pathologist mostly functions as liaison to the clinical colleagues.