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Medical Pathologist

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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 many different types of pathologist, with six main specialities.

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 2016, in most junior posts (Foundation Year 1) you would earn a basic £23,672 a year, increasing to a basic of £29,361 a year in Foundation Year 2. In specialist training this rises to a basic of £31,220 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 £38,685 and £72,140 a year. A consultant's salary ranges from £78,304 to £105,570 a year or more.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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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)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2017
10609
0.9 %
RISE
2022
10701
  United Kingdom
2017
86257
0.1 %
RISE
2022
86315

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 and what to expect from the medical profession, then you should visit the Medic Insight website. This is a new programme run by NHS Lothian and NHS Tayside in conjunction with the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee, and is aimed at S4 and S5 students considering a career in the profession. It is run in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow as either a week-long event (June) or day-long event (February), and gives you access to consultancies, theatres and a wide range of specialties and levels of clinicians in a hospital setting. The website gives details on intake dates, availability and booking.

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)
Tel: 0131 525 8700
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

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Health and Medicine

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Alternative Medicine

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