Discover your career path

Dermatopathologist

Diagnose disease by studying skin tissue biopsies.

What does a Dermatopathologist do?

A Dermatopathologist works in a highly specialized field of medicine. With backgrounds in the study of the skin (dermatology) and the origins of diseases (pathology), a Dermatopathologist can be a Dermatologist or a Pathologist who has received additional training to gain a thorough understanding of skin conditions.

As a Dermatopathologist, you spend most of your time in a lab coat. When a Dermatologist takes a biopsy of a mole, for example, she sends it your way. You examine it under a microscope and create a report on your findings. In addition, a Forensic Pathologist might also ask your expert opinion when he or she sees something unusual on the skin of a deceased person.

In your lab, you identify whether the skin disorder is caused by an allergic reaction, a bacterial infection, a viral invasion, a fungal reaction, or a disease such as cancer. The Dermatologist relies on your report to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.

Because of your extensive knowledge of skin, you’re often asked to lead discussions regarding skin cancer, sun damage, or rashes. In fact, there are thousands of different skin conditions, so it’s no wonder it takes a specialist to sort one from another.