I want a career in...
There are three main routes to become a pathologist:
If you would like to work as a doctor in a pathology, you must obtain a medical degree and complete a foundation training programme. More information on becoming a doctor is available here.
Each pathology specialty has different entry requirements which are outlined in their curriculum. Some specialties, such as medical microbiology and haematology require completion of Core Medical Training (CMT) prior to entry to a programme while for others such as histopathology and chemical pathology, it is possible to enter pathology training directly after completion of foundation training.
The recruitment process to get into a pathology training programme can be competitive, so you need to be prepared. You do not need to have any previous experience of pathology, but you do need to demonstrate your commitment to and enthusiasm for the specialty.
2. CLINICAL SCIENTIST
If you would like to work as a Clinical Scientist in a pathology specialty, you can apply for entry to a Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) programme following completion of PTP or STP. Clinical scientists are graduates, usually with a first or upper second honours degree in a subject like biochemistry, and often with a PhD.
3. Biomedical scientist (BMS)
Biomedical scientists are graduates in science. Training takes up to two years. For further information regarding biomedical scientist training please see The Institute of Biomedical Science website.
If you are just considering training in pathology while you are a medical student or Foundation trainee please contact your local pathology department who will be able to give you a very good idea of the daily work involved and of the training opportunities.
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author name HELLO April 2018
This document relates to the referral of histopathological specimens (including cytopathological and post-mortem specimens) for specialist opinions for the benefit of the patient, for clinical trials and for some research work in the context of the UK NHS
Dr Jane Whitman March 2014