Pathology is the study of disease, or literally the study ( logos) of suffering ( pathos), from the Greek origin of the word.

It is a bridging discipline which incorporates basic science on the one hand, and integrates this with clinical disease features and clinical practice on the other.  Pathology includes both Anatomic Pathology, which is the scientific study of disease at a cellular and tissue level, and Clinical Pathology which includes the disciplines of Immunology, Haematology, Clinical Chemistry and Microbiology.


Anatomic Pathology is intimately involved in the evaluation of specimens of tissue or cells (cytology), using light microscopy (and naked eye examination in the case of tissue).  It also involves the application of additional test modalities as necessary, including immunohistochemistry, molecular pathology, fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy.  Anatomic Pathology also includes post-mortem (autopsy) examination.  Anatomic Pathology forms the core course during the 3 rd Medical Year.

Abnormalities detected by the above means are observed, documented and photographed. A report is issued, which includes a description of the gross and microscopic pathology, to the Clinician, where it is collated and integrated with the patients clinical history, physical findings and radiology to make a definitive diagnosis.

The Department of Histopathology at Galway University Hospitals is a recognised centre for postgraduate training in histopathology. Training is coordinated through the ICSMHT body. It involves spending a period of XXXX years as a specialist registrar during which trainee pathologists rotate through different hospitals in Ireland. Trainees take the FRCPath/MRCPath exam (The Royal College of Pathologists, London) and upon succesful completion of the scheme and exam are awarded xxxxxx

The trainee must have a license to practice medicine in Ireland from the Medical Council. He/She is actively encouraged to undertake further postgraduate studies for example a  Master of Medical Science Degree in the course of their training. For details of this course of study contact the Office of the Dean of College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences.