can a medical laboratory scientist become a pathologist?



Medical laboratory science is the use of chemical laboratory tests to detect, diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases. Blood, tissue, and body fluids can be chemically analyzed and examined for foreign organisms and abnormalities. A Medical laboratory scientist aims to analyze a variety of biological specimens.

They perform scientific testing on samples and relay results to physicians. They use sophisticated clinical equipment like microscopes, cell counters and other high precision equipment to carry out tests in chemistry, hematology, immunology, transfusion medicine, and microbiology.

The decision of a physician regarding a patientโ€™s diagnosis, hospital admission, treatment, and discharge is heavily dependent on a Medical laboratory scientists report. Medical laboratory scientists work in places such as hospital, clinics, forensic and public health laboratories, Pharmaceutical industries, Biotechnology companies, Vet clinics, and research institutions. Medical laboratory science lasts for 4 years in the university.

Can a medical laboratory scientist become a pathologist?
Can a medical laboratory scientist become a pathologist?
Credit: Google

Pathology is a branch of medical science that involves the study and diagnosis of disease through the examination of surgically removed organs, tissues (biopsy samples), bodily fluids, and in some cases the whole body (autopsy). It is a bridge between Science and Medicine. It underpins every aspect from patient care, form diagnostic testing and treatment advice to using cutting edge technologies and preventing diseases.

A Pathologist is a medical healthcare provider who examines bodies and bodily tissues. She/he is also responsible for performing laboratory tests and helping other healthcare providers reach diagnoses and is an important member of the treatment team. Pathologists are majorly Medical Doctors with specialist laboratory training or Scientists with special clinical training, though the former is more common and orthodox.

Yes, a Medical Laboratory Scientist can become a Pathologist especially as both areas are similarly themed. Though a Medical Laboratory Scientist would have to become a Doctor (MD or MBBS holder) first before proceeding to receive further specialist laboratory training to become a Pathologist (Anatomic Pathology, Dermapathology, Forensic Pathology and Laboratory medicine).

Being a Medical Laboratory Scientist makes it easier for the student to get admission to study Medicine and cope with the academic load as part of it has been done before and the necessary laboratory training and experience has also been gotten. If you can find a MBBS program that allows for โ€˜post graduateโ€™ entry cutting two or three years off the normal timeline. Most times it is required to visit your proposed institution for more enquiries.

Most universities accept post graduate admissions into Medicine with a minimum of a 2nd class upper in any relevant course. Some schools accept 2nd class lower but this reduces the chances of being admitted. These courses include; Medical Laboratory Science, Biochemistry, Dentistry, Nutrition and Dietetics, Physiology, Medical Laboratory Science, Ophthalmology, Pharmacology, Zoology and Anatomy.

After the MD programme, the Medical Laboratory Scientist may proceed to receive further specialist laboratory training though it definitely will not be as vigorous due to previous laboratory experience as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.


As a med lab scientist, if you want to become a pathologist, you will have to go back to medical school to become a doctor first, before going ahead to specialise in pathology. Pathology is a post graduate medical program.

Olayinka Shyllon

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