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The history of pathology can be traced to the earliest application of the scientific method to the field of medicine, a development which occurred in the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age and in Western Europe during the Italian Renaissance.
Early systematic human dissections were carried out by the Ancient Greek physicians Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Chios in the early part of the third century BC. The first physician known to have made postmortem dissections was the Arabian physician Avenzoar (10911161). Rudolf Virchow (18211902) is generally recognized to be the father of microscopic pathology. Most early pathologists were also practicing physicians or surgeons.