MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: How do I become a Pathologist?

Date: Mon Aug 21 12:24:10 2006
Posted By: Matthew McConeghy, Professor of Science
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1153531001.Me

Hi Anthony,

It is always great to see an ambitious person setting high goals. Becoming a pathologist is a challenge that will test your determination, your intellect and your energy!

Pathologists are M.D.s, so you will have to complete medical school. That means you need the best possible preparation in HS and college. You should take the toughest science courses your high school can provide and work hard to get top grades. That work will pay off in college where you will need to do a pre-med prep. Most universities (even those with med schools) do not have a pre-med "major" but they do have counselors who will work with you to see that you have all the pre-requisites needed to apply to med school. You might major in chemistry, biology, genetics, pharmacy, or even philosophy, but your advisor will see that you have the courses you need to apply to med school. A few colleges have combined 7 or 8 year B.S./M.D. degree programs. As you can imagine, these are extremely competitive to get into, only the best of the best get in. But, if you work hard and are serious, you can realize your dream!

As a high school student, you don't need to focus on specific topics for pathology per se. Instead, you need to be sure that you are prepared in science, and a competitive all around applicant for a good college, and in college, work with your college advisor to be sure that you will be a good applicant for med school.

Good luck,

Dr. Matt McConeghy

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