Training and development (histopathology)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

Download the full histopathology training pathway here

Training for histopathology is a run-through training from ST1 which normally takes five and a half years.

The length of training for histopathology is provisionally set at five and a half years on the assumption that trainees will be undertaking two out of the three optional training packages, which are three months each plus the minimum histopathology training time of five years. Trainees will confirm at a later stage the number of optional packages that they will undertake.

This includes Parts 1 and 2 examinations leading to Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath).

Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the NHS Person Specification 2017 for Histopathology ST1.

All 2017 person specifications can be found on the NHS specialty training website. Please note that these documents are updated every year in the autumn before the recruitment round opens.

You will need an interest in pathology which can be demonstrated by:

The length of training can vary, for example it is possible to train flexibly if you fulfil the criteria for Less than Full Time Training, (LTFT).

Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, which as well as additional academic qualifications include prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important as is evidence of the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Good leadership and organisational skills are also important.

The GMC provides information on the curriculum for histopathology training.

Find our more about the specialty training on the NHS Specialty Training website.

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, or the GMC.

Getting in tips

It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in histopathology as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

Here are some suggestions for people at different stages of their career:

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