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Chemical pathology

Chemical pathologists are qualified doctors who combine practical laboratory and clinical skills. They use biochemical laboratory tests to diagnose disease and to manage patients. Chemical pathologists have a detailed understanding of biochemical processes and changes that occur in disease.

Training and qualifications required

You'll follow a set pattern of training which usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine and two years of foundation training. You will then undertake five years of specialist training (ST1-5). This period of training will include completing your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.

Expected working hours and salary range

Doctors may work up to 48 hours a week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings and weekends. On call possible. Pay scales (2017): Consultants earn between £76,761 and £103,490.

Desirable skills and values

You will need good decision making and management skills, attention to detail and the ability to work on own initiative. An interest and understanding of biochemical pathophysiology is important. You'll also nee good team-working and communication skills as chemical pathologists communicate with all level staff, right up to the hospital CEO.

Prospects

There are 116 consultants in chemical pathology in England in 2016. Opportunities exist for research and teaching.
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