The functions of the pathologist are but vaguely defined and understood. Since Virchow's first pathologic publications, about seventy-five years ago, the progress of medicine in general has been rapid. With this the functions of the pathologist have increased in scope and importance.
After the fundamental work of the great German pathologists Virchow and Cohnheim, pathologic anatomy was separated as a distinct branch of medical science. At first the pathologist, as "prosector," had a narrower field, confined mainly to the study of autopsy material. The rapidly progressing surgery, however, opened a new field of surgical pathology, thereby aiding the study of disease in vivo. The general advances of medicine at the same time made the pathologist an important adjunct in all lines of diagnostic work. This practical standpoint of diagnosis is responsible for increasing the importance of the laboratories beyond the scope of morphology. All branches of so-called clinical pathology (biochemistry,
ALTER NM. THE FUNCTIONS OF THE FULL TIME PATHOLOGIST IN HOSPITALS. JAMA. 1934;103(16):1189-1192. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750420001001