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What is the difference of a M.D. to a Clinical Pathologist.

I really want to diagnose patients (every doctor basically) but something that's abnormal for regular check ups and also to be able to do test to the patients but I also want to be part of surgeries, things like that but I can't choose which one would be the best option for me. #doctor #pathologist #md

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Naiara’s Answer

Hi Adolfo

MD means having a degree in medicine and being a physician. MD is the "traditional" medical degree. There are medical schools that teach a slight different curriculum from the traditional MD schools and are called osteopathic medical schools. They offer a DO degree, which also means being a physician. Therefore, any doctor who has gone through medical school will have either a MD or DO degree.

Now, a clinical pathologist is a physician who sub-specialize in Pathology. In order to become a clinical pathologist, you must attend medical school (4 years) and pursue residency in Pathology (3-4 years). Pathologists usually do not have direct patient contact and spend a lot of time in the lab looking at biopsy slides under the microscope, blood analyzes, etc. They also do autopsies (evaluation of someone's body after death). If you are interested in being a Pathologist, you will have to go into medical school. During this, you will have the opportunity to learn more about different specialties (cardiology, psychiatry, internal medicine, surgery, etc). Although, in general doctors care for patients, every branch of medicine is very unique. I hope this helps!

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Gary’s Answer

It sounds like you know what an MD does already, here is a good link I found for Clinical Pathologist - sounds like the CP is more of a scientist/lab doctor. Good luck!

What is Clinical Pathology?
Clinical pathology supports the diagnosis of disease using laboratory testing of blood and other bodily fluids, tissues, and microscopic evaluation of individual cells. Our board-certified veterinary clinical pathologists and technologists provide laboratory results in a timely, efficient and thoughtful manner; supporting research, clinicians, referring veterinarians, and students in the diagnosis and treatment of many animal species.