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The term pathology most often refers to the study of disease: its causes, processes, development, consequences, and anatomic and functional manifestations. A field of medicine specializing in the categorization of medical diseases (as studied in the laboratory) is called Pathology. Physicians who specialize in medical laboratory pathology are called Pathologists.
Any abnormal process can be termed to be pathologic. Some examples of the application of the term are listed.
- Anatomic pathology refers to the study of abnormal structures in medicine. The term encompasses gross (visible to the naked eye), microscopic (cellular), and molecular structural abnormalities. Surgical pathology, autopsy pathology, and forensic pathology refer to specific settings in which analysis of structural abnormalities is undertaken.
- Speech pathology is an area of rehabilitative medicine concerned with the treatment of speech or swallowing impediments.
Psychological / Behavioural Pathologies
Pathological can be used to describe a person's actions in such a way as to credit the action to a disease process.
- Pathological purchasing
- Pathological consumption
- Pathological narcissism
- Pathological liar
- Pathological gambling
- Pathological jealousy
Other Scientific Usage
- phytopathology is the study of abnormalities in plant structure and function.
Pathological is also used in mathematics, physics, and statistics to describe an exceptionally atypical example or set of data: