Online Pathology Course and Class Descriptions

Pathology is generally the study of disease, and pathologists are medical doctors who specialize in studying disease, rather than directly treating and interacting with patients. Although most pathology courses are taken in person, students can take basic online pathology courses.

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Branches of Pathology

General pathology refers to the broad study of disease. There are several specific areas of pathology that students can pursue online.

Anatomical Pathology

Anatomical pathology is based on disease analysis and diagnosis through examination of body organs, tissues and internal body parts. Pathologists use anatomical pathology when conducting autopsies and studying disease and infection. Within anatomical pathology, there are several areas of concentration, including forensic pathology and surgical pathology.

Clinical Pathology

Clinical pathologists use scientific analysis to determine the causes and results of disease and work in laboratories and other scientific settings. Clinical pathologists use biology, hematology and biochemistry while researching diseases.

Online Pathology Courses

Although online classes do not provide hands-on learning, students can learn basic scientific methods and pathology skills. Online pathology courses may be taken to supplement a traditional 4-year degree program and prepare students for medical school.

Anatomy and Physiology

Online anatomy and physiology courses generally use a course management software that allows for exams and assignments to be completed online. Students may interact with their instructors through online discussion forums and complete virtual labs and dissections using anatomy software.

Pathological Processes

Classes in pathological processes prepare students for pathology careers by teaching the basic duties and skills required of pathologists. These skills include conducting research, analyzing biological and anatomical evidence, preparing laboratory and medical reports and collecting specimens. Online courses in pathological processes use textbooks and online resources but don't have hands-on labs.

Laboratory Management

Online laboratory management courses teach students how to maintain an effective medical laboratory. Although students cannot actually use a laboratory in person, online courses detail the processes and duties involved with laboratory management, which include the maintenance of lab supplies and equipment, regulation and safety policies, use of computers to record data and proper use of medical instruments.

Pathology Career Requirements

To become fully practicing pathologists, students must complete a pathology program and obtain a medical license. Most pathology courses must be completed in person at an accredited medical school, which students can enter after graduating from a 4-year undergraduate program. Aspiring pathologists also complete several years of residency and internship programs after graduating. Students who would like to enter the workforce more quickly can consider becoming pathologist assistants or medical lab technicians. The American Board of Pathology and the American Osteopathic Board of Pathology both offer career and academic services for pathology students.

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