Planit


Medical Pathologist

Job Profile Image

Medical pathologists, or clinical pathologists, are doctors who specialise in investigating the nature, causes and processes of disease. Using the tools of laboratory science they analyse samples of human tissue, blood and other fluids. They use their findings to help diagnose and treat illness in patients.

The Work

There are four most common specialities within pathology.

There are other fields of pathology that are smaller, but still important such as, immunity, genetics and reproduction, toxins and animal disease. There are actually 17 pathology specialties in total, offering a diverse range of career options. 

Only a very small number of pathologists specialise in forensic pathology, despite its high profile on TV. Usually, the specimens pathologists examine come from patients who are very much alive.

You could be:

Pay

As of April 2018, in most junior posts (Foundation Year 1) you would earn a basic £27,146 a year, increasing to a basic of £31,422 a year in Foundation Year 2. In specialist training this rises to a basic of £37,191 a year.

Training salaries increase between 20% and 50% with supplements, depending on the number of extra hours and intensity of work involved. A doctor in the new specialty doctor grade earns between £39,250 and £73,193 a year. A consultant's salary ranges from £78,296 to £105,560 a year or more.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

LMI data powered by LMI for All

Getting In

To qualify as a pathologist you need a degree in medicine and surgery which is recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Other requirements:

After your degree you do a 2-year foundation training programme, which gives you registration with the GMC, which you need to work as a doctor (see 'Training' below). Most pathologists work for the National Health Service (NHS), but some forensic pathologists, particularly in England, work in independent practices.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2018
9845
1.4 %
RISE
2023
9987
  United Kingdom
2018
86671
3.2 %
RISE
2023
89403

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

What Does it Take?

You should be:

You should have:

Training

Getting On

More Information

The job prospects for medical pathologists are very good. Not all pathologists need to be doctors. You can have a career in the field of pathology as a clinical or biomedical scientist. It is also possible to become a veterinary pathologist or oral pathologist. As with medical pathology you must first get your vet medicine or dentistry degree and then specialise in pathology.

If you want a taste of what it is like to be a doctor have a look at the Medic Insight programme. This is a week long programme aimed at fourth and fifth year pupils in Scotland who are interested in becoming doctors. It is run by Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee universities. See the university website for details.

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
Tel: 01423 790391
E-mail: info@csofs.org
Website: http://www.csofs.org
Twitter: @CharterForSci
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheForensicScienceSociety

General Medical Council (GMC)
E-mail: gmcscotland@gmc-uk.org
Website: http://www.gmc-uk.org/
Twitter: @gmcuk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMCUK

Royal College of Pathologists
Tel: 020 7451 6700
E-mail: info@rcpath.org
Website: http://www.rcpath.org/
Twitter: @RCPath

Science Council
Tel: 020 3434 2020
E-mail: enquiries@sciencecouncil.org
Website: http://www.sciencecouncil.org/
Website (2): http://www.futuremorph.org/
Twitter: @Science_Council

The Science Council promotes the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of and education in science, technology, mathematics, computing and information technology. It awards the designation of Chartered Scientist (CSci) to those candidates who can meet the high standards required.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)
Tel: 0161 855 7409
Website: http://www.ukcat.ac.uk
Twitter: @UKCATest
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UKClinicalAptitudeTest

Was this article useful?
Please help us improve Planit by rating this article.

Career Area

Health and Medicine

Career Sectors

Alternative Medicine

Related courses by level

No courses listed.

Ambulance Services

Dentistry

Dietetics

Medical Technology

Medicine and Surgery

Nursing and Auxiliary Work

Occupational Therapy

Ophthalmics and Orthoptics

Pharmacy

Physiotherapy

Podiatry

Radiography

Speech Therapy

Therapists