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interest in pathology

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by meep, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. meep

    meep New Member

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    hey..
    i am currently studying for my A levels and applying to university..
    i have always had an interest in pathology without understanding fully what it is and what a career within the speciality would include..
    i spent a week at a lab that dealt with a lot post mortem work and found it fascinating... but i was wondering, is the only route into it through studying medicine?
    i am pretty certain that is what i want to do (here's hoping i get in) but if i am unsucessful is there another degree that could lead to a similar sort of career?
    i have been told to do straight chemistry or something similar as opposed to a forensic science degree..

    and also if i do get an interview for medicine why is it not a good idea to voice my interest in pathology?
    aaand.. what would you recommend reading to gain greater insight into what it involves?

    i've asked a lot of questions i know..
    thanks :)
     
  2. kiya

    kiya New Member

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    Hi meep!

    To answer some of your questions:

    The short answer is: No, you don't have to study medicine to be involved in pathology. However, you do have to study medicine if you want to be a histopathologist and get to report on specimens/do post mortems.

    You can work in the mortuary as a mortuary technician. Salary for a trainee technician varies (looking at NHS jobs) from £12,577-£15,523 (band 2) to £16,853 - £20,261 (band 4) and no previous qualifications are required. Training posts like that offer you the chance to get an on-the-job Royal Institute of Public Health Certificate in Anatomical Pathology. Fully trained technician is band 5 (£19,683-£25,424).

    You can work in the histology lab as a biomedical scientist. Obviously for that you need a BSc in Biomedical Sciences. I would think that newly-qualified BMS would be band 5. When I worked as a medical secretary in histopathology, we had a student who was doing an in-service course. He worked (and was paid) in the lab and did his course part-time.

    It really would depend on what exactly you want to do. The mortuary technicians are just involved in the post mortems. If you work in the lab, you don't get any post mortem work, but you get to cut-up specimens for putting into blocks, staining slides for analysis etc. If you want to report the slides, do post mortems, attend multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss cases etc. etc. you should apply to do medicine. I was talking to someone in the lab last year and she said that there was absolutely no scope for BMS's to do reporting of slides (unlike other areas where the boundaries between what doctors and other healthcare workers do have blurred).

    EDIT: now you've an offer, you didn't need to know all that!! Congrats and good luck with your future career in histopathology. ;)
     
    #3 kiya, Feb 11, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  3. meep

    meep New Member

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    hey thanks anyway for all the information!
    i've been reading up on histopathology and it does look fascinating :)
     
  4. kiya

    kiya New Member

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    I never even checked the original post date or your current sig! :rolleyes:

    Yeah, I would say histopathology looks quite varied too. The only thing is not seeing any living patients (well, unless you're required to do a frozen section).
     
  5. imtiaz ahmed

    imtiaz ahmed New Member

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    Whats Anatomical Pathology Technologist?
     
  6. khn17

    khn17 New Member

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    It's basically a posh name for a mortuary technician. I am one and whenever I tell people my proper job title they look at me gone out, then I explain what it is and they look like they want to throw up.

    The majority of the job is post-mortem work-usually the technician will open the body and remove the organs and then the pathologist looks at them in more detail. We then take any samples that are required (i.e blood,urine), reconstruct and clean the body and clean the post-mortem room and instruments. The job also involves preparing bodies for viewing in the chapel of rest, meeting relatives for viewings or identifications, releasing bodies to undertakers, liaising with police (especially if you work in a mortuary that does forensic/Home Office post-mortems). Then there is quite a bit of record-keeping and paperwork.

    There's some more info here:

    Anatomical pathology technician - NHS Careers
     
  7. SilverWing87

    SilverWing87 New Member

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    Histopathology is a fascinating area,but I would be careful not to seem too set in your ideas when applying to medical school. If you're anything like me then you'll become fascinated in any medical setting.

    *Edit* Sorry, you're at school now! Not paying attention to dates!
     
    #8 SilverWing87, May 18, 2009
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  8. Clarkey

    Clarkey I have girl bits ok? :)

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    They're already at medical school now :)
     
  9. SilverWing87

    SilverWing87 New Member

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    OOhhh... OK, sorry... Newb!
     
  10. SilverWing87

    SilverWing87 New Member

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    How are you doing btw, (if you're still around here)
     
  11. BHIVPOS

    BHIVPOS New Member

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    is pathology a competitive field to get into?
     
  12. Leo2004

    Leo2004 New Member

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    Not as far as I know. Everything is competative to some extent i.e. against others who also want to do it. Last time I looked into this tho there were suggestions of lots of consultant posts unfilled around the UK. However that said, wouldn't say getting to that stage is easier than in any other speciality as the postgrad exams have a reputation of being very tough and you'll be up against some bright, driven people.

    Go for it, if you like it in med school/after!
     
  13. LePomS

    LePomS Member

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    Depending on what area you are going into will depend on competition.

    For me, in clinical biochemistry, there were only 4 vacancies in the west midlands region, about 120 applied.
     

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