Many illnesses are a direct result of disturbances in the body's biochemistry. The job of a chemical pathologist or clinical scientist/biochemist is to undertake blood tests on the patient and identify if any such disturbance or abnormality is present. These blood tests will have been undertaken by the patient's doctor and the result will help make diagnoses and guide treatment. A chemical pathologist (a doctor trained in clinical biochemistry) or clinical scientist/biochemist (a scientist trained in the same subject) advises the requesting clinician on which tests should be undertaken and also helps with the interpretation of results. They are also often responsible for managing the laboratory. As the chemical pathologist is medically trained, he or she may also take direct responsibility for patient care via specific outpatient clinics or ward rounds.
Clinical biochemistry is concerned with the biochemical investigation of bodily fluids, for example, blood, cerebrospinal fluid and urine, to diagnose diseases in which the body’s chemistry is altered.