Cytopathologist

Study cell samples from patients to diagnose diseases.
picture of Cytopathologist

Quick Stats


Outlook
Very Good

Salary Range
~ $172,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Cytopathologists do?

Despite their medical knowledge, Doctors can do little to treat patients without lab test results. That’s why they need Cytopathologists. Cytopathologists run tests and examine cells to stop diseases before they spread.

As a Cytopathologist, you act as an Interpreter between microscopic cells and Doctors treating patients. When cells start sending out warning signals that something’s wrong, you interpret those signals and inform the Doctor. The Doctor can then treat the patient before the disease worsens.

The Pap smear is one of the most commonly known preventative tests. Women undergo a routine exam once a year wherein cells are collected for processing. When you receive the cells, you examine them for any signs that indicate cervical cancer might form in the future.

If you see any of these warning signs, you let the Doctor know. The Doctor can then treat the patient, and likely prevent the cancer from ever occurring.

Imagine microscopic cells not as little things to look at under a microscope, but as living, breathing beings that can send distress signals when they’re not functioning properly. In the early stages of a disease, such as cancer, the cells are metaphorically waving little red warning flags, asking for help. With the technology to finally see something as small as a cell, you can now catch deadly diseases before they start.

You may never get to meet your patients face-to-face, but your behind-the-scenes work collecting vital information helps diagnose their diseases, and even save their lives.


Should I be a Cytopathologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Colon Therapist

    How to become a Cytopathologist

    Most Cytopathologists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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