Hallux’s Pathology Puzzles: What is Pathology?

Solving puzzles is brilliant!


One of Professor Hallux’s favourite TV shows is one called ‘Time Cop Crime Stop‘. In the show, the Crime Cops solve all types of mysteries by looking at the evidence and asking questions. Nurse Nanobot isn’t that impressed by it though – she’s far more excited by ‘Robot Wars’ for some reason!

Now, there’s a type of medicine that is all about solving puzzles – it’s called pathology!

Pathology is all about looking at the evidence to figure out what’s happened, or what’s happening to a body.

Whilst pathology can be really important to find out what caused someone to die, it’s also used in many other cool ways, like when you’re feeling ill and you go to and see your doctor. They rely on the knowledge, diagnostic skills and advice of pathologists. If your doctor has taken a sample of your wee or blood, the answer is usually provided by a pathologist.


Millions of pathology tests are carried out every year. That’s over 14 tests for every man, woman and child in the country. Many major advances have been made by pathologists, for example in the treatment of cancer, ensuring safe blood transfusions, developing vaccines against infectious diseases and the treatment of genetic diseases.


And you don’t even have to be ill! Sometimes evidence is gathered to check that you’re in good health.

> Visit the Professor Hallux Pathology Puzzle homepage
> Download the free Pathology Puzzle podcast from iTunes

Hallux’s Pathology Puzzles with support from The Royal College of Pathologists