What is Pathology?

Pathology is study of what causes disease and disease’s specific effects on biological tissues and fluids. Using morphologic and structural analysis of tissue and examination of the patient’s health history, the pathologist provides a pivotal diagnosis to oncologists, hematologists, and other physicians and helps direct the application of precision medicine for optimal patient outcomes. Pathologists are also responsible for overseeing and developing new laboratory tests for tissues and fluids, further contributing to the patient’s diagnostic profile, and ultimately, their health and healing. 

The OHSU Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine consists of the Division of Anatomic Pathology and the Division of Clinical Pathology. Anatomic pathology identifies and studies how disease effects the body’s organs and covers surgical pathology, cytopathology, autopsy, neuropathology, and renal pathology. Our surgical pathologists are subspecialized experts in areas such as breast, gynecologic, genitourinary, head & neck, pediatric, gastrointestinal, bone, soft tissue, and other body sites. Clinical pathology includes lab-based services and specialized testing on tissue and fluids to identify disease and includes the fields of microbiology, molecular genetic pathology, chemical pathology and transfusion medicine. 

In addition to the work we do in the pathology clinic and laboratories, pathologists are also available to help patients better understand their pathology reports, and serve as consultants to other physicians.