Explore the specialties

Both doctors and scientists working in pathology tend to specialise in a particular area, often called a ‘specialty’. In pathology, a specialty is simply an area of the study of disease – like immunology, the study of the body’s immune system and its disorders, or toxicology, the study of how chemical, physical or biological substances affect humans and animals.

The job titles of people working in pathology relate to these specialties, so we have specialist doctors called immunologists and consultant clinical scientists specialising in immunology working together to diagnose and treat immune disorders.

On this page, we’ve grouped the specialty roles under some key themes.

The study of diseases of the tissue and bone – histopathology – is the biggest specialty in pathology. Histopathologists use sophisticated microscopes and a trained eye to examine tissues and cells removed from patients in the clinic or at operation. By investigating the microscopic structure of the tissue, they can decide whether disease – such as cancer – is present, and use their findings to advise doctors on treatment.

  • Histopathologists
  • Neuropathologists
  • Paediatric and perinatal pathologists
  • Forensic pathologists
  • Oral and Maxillofacial pathologists

Blood

Doctors and scientists working in haematology study blood and blood-borne diseases. Their work focuses on supporting patients with illnesses like anaemias, leukaemias and haemophilia. They also oversee the management of hospital blood stocks, ensuring patients requiring transfusions can get access to safe blood when they need it.

  • Haematologists are doctors
  • Consultant clinical scientists in haematology
  • Consultant clinical scientists in transfusion science