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Studies & Degrees in Morbid Anatomy

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Are you considering a degree in medicine but have yet to decide on a medical specialty in which to focus your studies?  Are you interested in studying the causes of disease, making critical diagnoses on patients, living and deceased?  If you answered yes, you may be the perfect candidate for a degree in Morbid Anatomy.  Morbid Anatomy, which is also called Anatomical Pathology or Anatomic Pathology in western nations, is a highly interesting and rewarding field of medicine that enables doctors to study and discover the various causes of disease through the examination of organs and tissues.  To help you become more acquainted with this field of study, below we have compiled some important facts regarding the M.D. degree program in Morbid Anatomy, including a few details about the course, the typical eligibility requirements for entry into the program and the skills and procedures students will learn while pursuing this degree.
M.D. Degree in Morbid Anatomy:  Course Details and Education Requirements
The M.D. Degree in Morbid Anatomy is an advanced specialty program that is offered by most major medical schools throughout the world.  It is designed for students who have a strong background and interest in the study and diagnosis of disease based on the gross, microscopic, chemical, immunologic and molecular examination of organs, tissues and, in the case of autopsies, whole bodies.  Holders of this degree are eligible to work in hospitals, morgues and medical research laboratories, helping practicing doctors pinpoint the nature and cause of a given disease, which ultimately enables those doctors to make a correct diagnosis and prescribe an effective treatment plan.  Morbid Anatomists can also take positions as Coroners and Medical Examiners, performing autopsies and helping law enforcement pinpoint a cause and time of death based on a variety of scientific factors.
To qualify for the M.D. program in Morbid Anatomy students must possess at least a four-year degree (most earn a Master’s degrees) in a discipline that qualifies as a pre-medical course of study.  These fields may include biology, microbiology, anatomy, chemistry and biochemistry, among others.  Students will also be screened based on their past academic performance and will need to sit for an interview with the program faculty prior to being considered for admission.
M.D. Degree in Morbid Anatomy:  What You Will Learn
Students participating in the M.D. program in Morbid Anatomy will learn about and master a number of different skills and procedures that are essential for success in this discipline.  Some of these include:
  • Gross Examination.  Gross examination is a procedure in which diseased tissue is examined with the naked eye—a key skill when examining large tissue fragments.
  • Histopathology.  Histopathology, a technique used often in cancer identification, is the microscopic study of stained tissue using histological techniques.
  • Cytopathology.  This field focuses on the microscopic examination of disease at the cellular level.
  • In Situ Hybridization.  Often called “FISH,” this specialty helps doctors identify DNA and RNA molecules using a fluorescent dye.
Of course, this is just a small sample of what students will learn while earning their M.D. degree in Morbid Anatomy.  Other techniques include Immunohistochemistry, the use of antibodies to detect the presence, abundance and localization of specific proteins; and Electron Microscopy, the examination of tissue samples using an electron microscope, a device that exponentially increases magnification.