Medical Definition of Pathology

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as "that branch of medicine which treats of the essential nature of disease." The word "pathology" comes from the Greek words "pathos" meaning "disease" and "logos" meaning "a treatise" = a treatise of disease. The word "pathology" is sometimes misused to mean disease as, for example, "he didn't find any pathology" (meaning he found no evidence of disease). A medical doctor that specializes in pathology is called a pathologist. Pathologists are experts at interpreting microscopic views of body tissues.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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