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Commonly known as anatomic or cellular pathology outside of the UK, histopathology is a well-staffed and supported specialty in the NHS. Nonetheless, the UK still has huge demand for senior pathologists and can offer fantastic career progression, competitive salaries, private work and support with CESR and Specialist Registration. 

What are the requirements for an overseas histopathologist to work in the UK?

The qualification route you take may differ depending on your experience and years working in pathology, however satisfying an english language requirement and attaining full GMC registration are both essential.

  • IELTS or OET or an acceptable emloyers reference (ask your IMG consultant if this applies to you). This requirement applies to all candidates not already registered with the GMC. 
  • FRCPath Histopathology is a desirable qualification for candidates not holding a recognised european qualification.
  • PLAB will also facilitate GMC registration for non-EEA qualified candidates.
  • EEA applicants may be able to register if they have a Relevant European Qualification (REQ).

IMG Resource Library

If you have not already, check out our IMG Library where you can find out more about IELTS or OET, GMC Registration, FRCPath Histopathology. Additionally, this article may help you to understand the journey an anatomical pathologist can take to work in the UK: A Histopathologist's Route to the UK

What should you know about histopathology in the UK? 

The Royal College of Pathologists is the professional body that holds responsibiltiy for the curriculum and training of the specialty in the UK. Attaining Fellowship with the Royal College is seen as a golden ticket for international candidates new to the NHS. Full FRCPath will give access to senior job opportunities, most likely at consultant grade, of which there are many across the UK. 

Candidates who have not completed a formalised training programme in anatomic pathology before arriving to the UK may with to enter NHS Specialtry Training in Histopathology. The UK training programme encompasses surgical pathology, autopsy and cytopathology, and cytopathology can be practised independently as a recognised subspecialty. You can choose to sub-specialise later on by training further in forensics, neuropathology, paediatric and perinatal pathology or cytopathology.

What can you expect from a typical working week in the NHS?

Roles in histopathology differ from many other hospital roles in that they are non-patient facing. Job plans can be demanding yet flexible, as a consultant you can take work home with you and the emergence of digital pathology in the UK is helping to create an ever desirable specialty for many to work in.

You can expect to work 40-hours per week, with a mixture of reporting duties and MDTs. Your multidisciplinary team meetings will see you collaborating with a wide range of specialists from oncology, radiology and other medical specialties.

Did you know? According to Health Trust Europe, seventy percent of all diagnoses in hospitals are supported by a pathologist, and pathology services are essential to the delivery of many of the NHS’s priorities and targets. Such is its importance, it was estimated that one billion tests were run in pathology labs in 2018 alone, at a cost of £2.2 billion.

£79,957 - £103,806
A Cellular Pathology service in West Wales are looking to appoint histopathology consultants to the their developing and exciting service in one of the most beautiful and low cost areas of the UK. These are excellent opportunities for European Pathology Specialists, newly qualified UK consultants or senior histopathologists with FRCPath looking to work through their CESR process to be appointed substantively. 


The Health Board is one of seven acute Health Boards in Wales and covers a quarter of the land mass of Wales. This post comes during a period of Health Board-wide service reviews and a major expansion in undergraduate medical student teaching is planned. The Health Board provides services to a large catchment area and is predominantly rural in nature with areas of outstanding beauty. 

The potential for Health Board-wide, Regional and All Wales developments and a closer liaison with primary care and social services is substantial. They are actively involved in realising a regional service for Cellular Pathology with a business case being submitted to Welsh Government. The service is also engaged with the All Wales Digital Pathology project and Cellular Pathology has also recently implemented the All Wales LIMS Intersystems module. The post therefore allows the interested incumbent to live in an area of outstanding beauty, become established at work and in time with agreement transfer to the new organisation.


The consultant team is six strong with an additional three posts being appointed, with the consultants supported by a team of Biomedical Scientists, Lab Technicians and an excellent, supportive and friendly management team.

Strategically the Cellular Pathology service is provided using a hub and spoke model for service delivery with the centre for this appointment being the hub. Consultants in Cellular Pathology, work as a team, which will allow the development of subspecialisation.

Service application for ISO 15189 assessment via UKAS is planned for 2021 and the processing laboratory provides centralised services in both immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. A new Mortuary/Autopsy suite/Relatives’ Services Facility opened in early 2011.

Approximately 10-15% of specimens come from general practitioners. The majority of autopsies are at the request of H M Coroner with on average less than 5 consented autopsies per year across the Health Board. HER2 testing in Breast Cancer is provided together with molecular (FISH) testing from the laboratory in a neighbouring health board. Molecular pathology related to lymphoma diagnosis is provided as part of The All Wales Lymphoma Panel from a neighbouring trust and a comprehensive Molecular testing repertoire is provided by the All Wales Molecular Laboratory based elsewhere. 


The pace of life can be as fast or slow as you choose, with a diverse range of people sharing an envious work-life balance across the region. An excellent choice of schools and very reasonable property prices contribute to a high standard of living. West Wales provides wonderful lifestyle opportunities and opportunities to undertake many activities such as climbing and mountain biking as well as walking, surfing, fishing, sailing and hiking. Property prices are lower than many parts of the UK with excellent State and Independent Schools within the area. There are excellent road and rail connections to London and the larger cities. Wales has a low crime rate and is a safe and friendly place to live and work.


Research Opportunities are plentiful and the Health Board has University status with strong links to the local Universities to promote research & development and multi-professional teaching. The Health Board is committed to enhance local research and development and the successful applicant would be strongly encouraged to develop a local research portfolio as part of their core NHS responsibilities (Handbook to the NHS Constitution, January 2009) as it improves patient outcomes.The annual operating R&D Budget has increased by over 750% since 2008 and research operates across all 4 hospital sites with increasing opportunities in Primary Care.


There is a hugely successful and progressive consultant development scheme at the Health Board, designed designed to meet the needs of newly appointed consultants, and offers a current and future focus by developing you as a leader, and senior consultant within the NHS in line with the NHS Medical Leadership Competency Framework (MCLF).


Consultants from all parts of the world are welcome to apply, as long as the following eligibility criteria are met:

UK Applicants:
  • CCT or CESR or within six months of attaining or;
  • Previous locum consultant experience in the NHS or;
  • Significant senior middle grade experience, and CESR process under way
EU Applicants:
  • GMC recognised specialist qualification or FRCPath
  • OET or IELTS
  • Willingness to relocate within six months of appointment
Non-EEA applicants:
  • FRCPath 
  • OET or IELTS
  • Willingness to relocate within six months of appointment
These are excellent opportunities for consultants with FRCPath and looking to complete CESR, or those looking to start their consultant career in the NHS, and develop into senior NHS leaders! 
£82,096 - £110,683
Experienced cellular pathologist? This beautiful location in midlands of England is looking for histopathologists with experience in anatomic pathology and cytology and with comfortable english levels to report independently.

This is a 10 PA permanent (substantive) post to be based in medium sized district general hospital in the midlands of England. Working in a small, friendly team this is a good job for consultants looking for their first post in the UK in a well located, beautiful part of the UK.

The hospital has approximately 400 bed beds, serving a population of approximately 270,000 across the county and surrounding areas (with a 900,000 catchment for vascular services) of which 24 are maternity, 16 are paediatric, ten are critical care and 28 are day-case beds. The hospital has over 2500 members of staff (making it the largest local employer in the area) and a current turnover of approximately £205m. The hospital enjoys strong community support with over 200 volunteers at the hospital and over £6 million being raised by it's independent Charity over the past 10 years. The support from the charity has enabled the hospital, for example, to build a dedicated cancer centre and has also recently funded a new MRI scanner, operational since early 2018.


The department of cellular pathology is split across two sites and currently has seven full time consultants in post. The department would like to bring this up to 9 in total as the department expands its service. There is a team of biomedical scientists and laboratory assistants that support the service and each consultants is provided with secretarial support, office, an ergonomic microscope, and a designated computer with internet access.

The workload for 2019-20 for this particular site was:
  • Histopathology - 18,924 cases
  • Diagnostic cytology -1047 cases
  • Andrology - 654 cases
Other important details regarding the department include:
  • The surgical pathology work from the hospital (biopsies and resections) reflects the clinical speciality mix of the hospital whilst the case mix is typical of a district general hospital.
  • The department provides a histopathology service for the NHS bowel cancer screening, breast screening and cervical screening service.
  • A good repertoire of antibodies is available for immunohistochemistry at both sites, with less commonly used antibodies referred out to specialist centres for staining.
  • There is a histology laboratory and “cut up” room. The laboratory contains standard equipment, which includes three tissue processors (a VIP and two Leica processors), two Embedding Centres (a Sakura and a Leica) and two Leica integrated auto-stainers and cover-slippers. The Roche Ventana Ultra staining platform is used for immunocytochemical stains
  • The department has a multi-headed microscope which enables the Consultants to meet and discuss cases
  • The Cytology laboratory includes a dedicated preparation room for the preparation of non-gynaecological specimens and contains one Cytospin, one centrifuge.
  • The pathology laboratory is fully computerised with the CliniSys WinPath Enterprise system. The laboratory based system links directly with hospital and ward based systems, with both ICE requesting and reporting.
  • The Hospital has many clinical links with the tertiary centre of Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospitals. It is part of the Anglia Cancer Network and the department participates in specialist MDTs within the Network. The perinatal and paediatric autopsy service is provided by Consultant Paediatric Pathologists at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
  • The Mortuary is also the Public Mortuary for the county. Coroner’s post-mortems are not part of the NHS contract and are performed at the behest of the Coroner.
  • The Cellular Pathology Department has full accreditation against ISO15189.
  • The Laboratory participates in NEQAS for:
    • General Histopathology (staining)
    • Immunocytochemistry
    • Andrology (sperm motility and morphology)

The local town is a thriving market town, which provides easy access to London (55 miles), the East Midlands, the North of England and beyond through its rail links and M1 / A1 / A14 accessibility. First Capital Connect runs trains directly to London Luton and London Gatwick airport. Trains run to London St. Pancras, the international terminal for Eurostar.

The Hospital currently provides services for a population of around 270,000, of which 119,600 live in the main county town of. The area is primarily agricultural, with numerous pleasant villages within easy commuting distance of the hospital. In recent years most of the expansion in population has been in the M1 / A1 corridor and significant further growth is planned in the surrounding areas. It is anticipated that by 2021 there will be a further 50-55,000 people living in the town area.

There is a varied selection of accommodation for rent or purchase, both in rural and urban surroundings. Education is a prominent feature in the Town. The local schools provide first-class independent education for some 4,000 girls and boys supported by preparatory schools and other independent schools that cater for all ranges of ability. There is also a wide selection of state schools available. The Local University has a campus in the town; and the College also offers a comprehensive range of courses in Applied Sciences, Health, Education, Business and The Arts, leading to qualifications such as HNDs, CertEd., PGCE and foundation degrees. Cranfield University is located in the local area. The hospital is situated within walking distance of the town centre.

Several local villages to the north are situated on the large river which is a very attractive feature of the area. There are two good parks within walking distance of the town centre. Russell Park, with its children’s play area and formal gardens, takes its name from the Dukes. The main Park, laid out by the Victorians, has a circular carriage ride, pavilions, lodges and bandstand. The Country Park is within walking distance, offering water sports, nature trails, a visitor centre and marina. The river is an important feature and provides a focus for a very strong rowing community and River Festival held every two years, a large free outdoor event.

The area is well provided for sport, leisure and cultural activities including an International Athletic Stadium, five golf courses, three rowing clubs, a Rugby Club, a Town Football Club and several swimming pools. The world-famous local Orchestra has a residency nearby where it performs eight concerts each year, as well as involvement in educational activity in schools and the local community. John Bunyan was born in 1628 in Elstow, just south of the town. 


To be eligible for this role you must have:
  • FRCPath or equivalent
  • Specialist Registration or within six-months CCT or CESR
  • Eligibility for GMC registration
  • Experience having worked at consultant experience if no UK experience
If you are unsure about your eligibility for this role, do not hesitate to contact us for an informal conversation. 
£84,984 - £112,925

An excellent opportunity for an experienced Consultant in Cellular Pathology to join a Trust that is based on the South of Scotland, close to the Scottish/English Border. It is a beautiful part of the UK, and a home to a friendly, well run hospital. The Trust is committed to provide an environment in which diversity is valued and encouraged, and to ensure patients, carers, families and staff are treated with respect. The post if suitable for overseas consultants, including candidates who are pursuing CESR. Specialists in Cellular Pathology holding a specialist certification would be suitable for this post, based on experience entering at either Specialty Doctor or Consultant grade. 

Overseas applications from experienced Specialty Doctors and Consultants are welcomed. 


The NHS Trust is nestled in the South West of Scotland and it truly has a lot to offer in terms of career progression, work-life balance, and social activities. The Trust prides themselves on being an inclusive, welcoming, and friendly. The NHS Trust supports a population of approximately 150,000 and a workforce of approximately 4,500. The NHS Trust invests in technology - one of their sites has a state of the art Pneumatic tubes across all wards allowing staff to get lab results faster, they also have laptops in every room to expedite updating of patient records and prescribing notes.

The NHS Trust's services in the community are closely integrated with other Health and Social Care Partners giving their teams exposure to working in a more collegiate way. This brings huge benefits to our patients and service users, ultimately enabling them to stay in their own home for longer. The staff who work in the community can also take advantage of a lease car scheme supporting them to work flexibility across the region.

As a Health Board, the Trust works with colleagues to engage, train and develop teams across the organization. The Trust truly cares about the health & wellbeing that they have a Sanctuary & Spiritual Care area which is available for all patients, carers, loved ones, friends, visitors and staff.


The Department is housed in a modern, brand new laboratory complex within the main building of one of the Trust's site, with easy access to all other parts of the hospital. The department is a member of the hospital’s Diagnostics Directorate which includes other laboratory departments, radiology, clinical physiology and Audiology. The General Manager for Acute & Diagnostics is accountable to the Chief Operating Officer.

The Department provides a wide range of clinical diagnostic and advisory services supported by scientific facilities in three inter-related disciplines: Histopathology (approximately 15,000 specimens per year), Diagnostic Cytopathology ( approximately 1000 requests per year) and Mortuary and Autopsy services (120 autopsies per year). The pathologists in the department are expected to take part in all activities related to the above mentioned accredited services, including compliance with the protocols concerned, participation in relevant EQA Schemes and attendance at regular Multidisciplinary meetings.

The Pathology Department has also established a good relationship with other pathology departments in Scotland and elsewhere in the U.K. There is therefore a network of specialists in all fields of pathology to whom difficult or unusual cases can be referred when needed. The post holder is expected to participate in internal clinical audit and in recognised external quality assurance schemes and participate in clinical research projects with other clinical specialties as appropriate.


The area is a home to an abundance of rare wildlife, lush green forests and sandy beaches. The area is the warmest part of Scotland and in addition to spectacular countryside and outside pursuits Dumfries and Galloway offers you and your family beautiful and affordable housing, schools which perform consistently well in national rankings and easy and convenient commutes for a more relaxed quality of life. Many of the Trust's staff have been drawn to the region by the exceptional career opportunities, plus the improved work life balance and focus on family life are also great attractions.

The region offers all the advantages of life in local towns with friendly and safe neighbourhoods and good quality facilities on your doorstep. In addition, the main city centres are within reach if on occasion you want a little more. Major cities are within touching distance with Glasgow and Edinburgh to the north; Carlisle, Newcastle and Manchester to the south with fantastic towns, villages and landscapes in between. The region has an affordable housing market, excellent education options, low crime rates and many local business offering great valuable produce.




EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Cellular Pathology
  • Specialist Registration in Cellular Pathology

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Cellular Pathology

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Cellular Pathology
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT



  • Attractive salary and relocation package
  • Training and development opportunities
  • CESR support for those eligible
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process
£82,096 to £110,683
This Teaching NHS Foundation Trust is looking to recruit two enthusiastic Histopathology Consultants to join their Laboratory Medicine Directorate based in this beautiful English historic city. These posts can be offered on a substantive (permanent) or fixed-term appointment with permanent candidates being preferred for the role. The post combines Histopathology and Cytology (Non-Gynae). The post is offered as up to 10 programmed activities (PAs) with the option of 2 additional PAs. The department rota is divided equally on a daily rolling rota.
We welcome discussion with applicants regarding flexible/less than full time working, and home working, with the job plan to be mutually agreed prior to commencement.


The trust comprises two main acute hospitals with this role based at the larger, and better performing centre with affiliations to the local University. This post will not involve cross-site cover. The hospitals management and culture are renowned for being friendly, welcoming and supportive of ambition and career development.


You will be joining a supportive Histopathology team of six Consultants and two Associate Specialists. To support the service delivery the work of the department is divided on a daily rolling rota. The department is not currently subspecialised, however this may change, and the department are open to discuss circumstances where candidates may be interested in reporting two or three areas. The trust has an ambitious programme of service modernisation and a reputation for providing high quality services. The department has recently consolidated its services onto the main site and now undertakes around 34,000 requests per annum of general histopathology from both sites.

The department are planning to undertake an extensive laboratory refurbishment over the next few years and they are also taking part in the North England Pathology Imaging Collaborative, one of the largest digital imaging projects in the world. Currently they do not routinely report digitally though it is something being worked on for the future. The laboratory is also in the process of implementing a new laboratory information system and a new immunohistochemistry system and end-to-end specimen tracking system.


You will have the opportunity to join and shape the service at this exciting time. As part of the pathology network programme of NHS improvement, they are in the process of forming a combined organisation in order to better use our combined capitol and expertise.

To support your on-going professional development you will receive an excellent Study leave package from the hospital whilst the Trust also has an active Research Department to support research interests. The department has close links with the local Medical School offering interested candidates opportunities for undergraduate teaching or the development of management roles within the medical school.

CESR support will be made available for candidates with excellent experience and FRCPath - whilst candidates new to the NHS but with specialist registration will be accommodated and supported through their early stages in the new healthcare system and workplace to ensure you settle in well to your new surroundings. 

The department is not currently subspecialised, however this may change, and the department are open to discuss circumstances where candidates may be interested in reporting two or three areas.


The hospital is located just minutes away from the city centre which is home to various restaurants, bars, shops and theatres perfect for all ages. There are many bus routes accessible throughout the city and the train station is only a ten minute drive from the hospital with regular services to surrounding areas such as Leeds and the ability to travel to London in under 2 hours.

The city is a quintessentially British part of the UK with beautiful architecture, a small city feel with a friendly and welcoming local population. In addition, the area is diverse and multicultural with an established culture of international doctors relocating to the area to support the local NHS services. 
£82,096 - £110,683
Experience Pathology Consultants from all corners of the world are welcome to apply for these consultant roles in one of the largest Foundation Trusts in the South East of England. The trust are recruiting experienced consultants, regardless of whether they are on the specialist register or not. Experience from healthcare systems with similar methods and reporting techniques will be considered for these roles and any not on the specialist register will be supported for CESR if that is their desire.


The trust provides both acute hospital and community health care and has nearly 10,000 staff and an annual budget in 2019/20 of over £715 million. The trust has two large general hospitals in the East of England, 
typically well performing hospitals scoring highly in their CQC reports.


Their aim is to incorporate the latest technologies and innovations to ensure the service is prepared for current and future challenges of the modern NHS, and the Trust is working towards a collaboration with a large teaching hospital and tertiary centre in China. This will bring exciting opportunities to the Histopathology department with regards research and teaching. There will be programmes of fellowship including histopathology, collaborated research projects are already started and in progress.
  • The post holder appointed will take a proportionate share in the provision of the service in surgical pathology, and cytopathology.
  • Surgical cut-up is performed by Consultant Pathologists, Specialty Registrars and Biomedical Scientists.
  • Two biomedical scientists have completed the Diploma of Expert Practice in Histological dissection (cut-up) and one is currently in training.
  • Small biopsies are handled by the technical staff.
  • The Consultant Pathologists report all FNA and non-cervical cytology specimens.
  • There is no provision of FNA for one stop clinics and histopathologists are not involved in taking FNA samples.
  • There is currently no true sub-specialisation in the reporting of surgical histology or diagnostic cytology, although there is a lead pathologist for each of the cancer sites who acts as a contact point within the Department and participates in multidisciplinary meetings.
  • There is no on-call commitment.
  • The post holder may choose to undertaken coronial post mortem examinations through direct agreement with the local coroners services. This is via agreement directly with the coroner, coverage of post mortem activity if offset by time shifting of contracted NHS time to take account of the time spent undertaking the coronial post mortems.
There are six current consultant pathologists and capacity to appoint two more - including this vacancy - and the Histopathology and Blood Science services are fully accredited by UKAS. The service participates in both interpretative and technical EQA schemes relevant to the service and the hospital is an HTA approved institution.


The hospital is located in a beautiful part of the UK and you’ll enjoy an enviable quality of life in this historic town. The area benefits from a wealth of affordable housing in one of the most attractive parts of Britain, yet is close to one of London's major airports and all the facilities of London. Your new home will also be great news if you’re bringing up a family, as this part of the UK is home to some excellent schools and great leisure facilities.

A relocation document can be provided along with job descriptions to those interested in finding out more.


To be considered for this role you must meet the following requirements:
  • Specialist Registration in Histopathology or
  • FRCPath and extensive consultant experience or
  • GMC registration with reporting experience in a similar healthcare system
Experience from similar healthcare systems with similar reporting methods will be considered for these roles. Any consultant pathologists not on the specialist register for histopathology will be supported for CESR if that is their desire.
£82,096 - £110,683

We are looking for an experienced Consultant Histopathologists for a large University Hospital in South East England.

Job requirements:

  • Specialist Registration via CCT, CESR or equivalent
  • Extensive experience in histopathology
  • Interest in general histopathology and breast 

Length of contract:

Substantive or Permanent Contract only. Experienced consultants who can apply for CESR within 6 months can be considered.


  • Attractive salary and relocation package
  • Training and development opportunities in leadership and consultant mentor programmes.
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • IMG Connect guidance and consultation regarding your CV and interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process

Specialty & Special Interests:
General Histopathology


Pathology Slide

UK Training Pathway for Histopathologists

  • June 28, 2022

The NHS offers an extensive training scheme and career development for histopathologists, and the quality and depth of this programme is recognised as a gold standard across the medical community.  The training provided to UK histopathology trainees is regularly reviewed and updated, in keeping with advances and progression in the landscape of pathology around the world and across the profession. This makes the training programme attractive to UK graduates, as well as overseas histopathologists seeking the best training programmes for their field.  In this article, we will explore the training pathway for histopathologists in the UK, covering the following topics:  What is the NHS Training Pathway? How do you enter the training pathway? What does the specialty training programme look like for histopathology? What happens after completing the histopathology training programme? Can I enter specialty training in the UK as an IMG? The NHS Training Pathway  The NHS training pathway is the name given to the complete programme undertaken by UK trainees, from medical school to the completion of specialist training within I.e. within histopathology.  It is important for IMGs to understand this as it helps to provide an understanding of at what stage they can most likely enter the system if they are interested in training in the UK.  Entering the NHS Training Pathway  After graduating from medical school, doctors with receive provisional registration from the GMC which allows them to enter the Foundation programme (a two-year work-based training programme).  Upon completion of the first year (FY1), doctors will gain full registration with the GMC and will be able to apply for further study and training in a specialised area I.e. histopathology – this is known as Specialty Training (ST).  Specialty Training in Histopathology  The Specialty Training programme in Histopathology is 5 years long, and whilst doctors may pass through training quicker depending on how quickly they achieve their competencies, this is rarely the case and histopathologist will usually take the indicated time, or slightly longer to complete the Specialty Training programme.  Successful applicants entering into year one of specialty training (ST1), will follow the Royal College of Pathologist’s 2021 Histopathology Curriculum, which sets the expected syllabus as well as required assessments and workload case numbers.   Histopathology training as a run-through programme  Unlike some specialisms where you complete a period of core training before entering into specialty training (requiring two applications), histopathology specialty training works as a run-through programme. You only have to apply once, at the beginning of the programme, as you are recruited for the full duration of Specialty Training.  Foundation Training (FY1 – FY2)  The foundation programme usually involves six different rotations or placements in medical or surgical specialties. These rotations enable trainees to practise and gain competence in basic clinical skills.  Specialty Training (ST1 – ST5+)  ST1) Year one trainees enter the training programme. In this first stage, trainees will initially develop knowledge of laboratory work, with basic training in all areas of cellular pathology.  Training starts with a 1-2 week induction from the training school. This includes some time in the lab seeing how specimens are prepared and processed. Trainees are taught how to use a microscope, how to approach simple cases under the microscope and the principles of macroscopic assessment and sampling (AKA ‘cut up’). Many training schools do a separate autopsy induction.  When not at block teaching weeks, trainees are rotating through the various specialities in histopathology.  ST2 – ST3 This part of training takes place from year 2 to year 3, with the focus on achieving the FRCPath Part 1 Exam. This will normally be taken after 18 – 24 months of training.  Trainees will consolidate and develop their knowledge base from ST1. Year two trainees are given more independence and are expected to be able to cut up most specimens by the end of this stage.   In many deaneries, this is the time when trainees complete rotations in sub specialities including paediatric pathology, neuropathology and oral pathology. Trainees may rotate to placements in local district general hospitals to gain valuable experience in managing a general histopathology workload.  Autopsy and cervical cytology training continue as mandatory elements of ST2-ST3. Some trainees choose not to continue these specialities when they have completed this stage.  The FRCPath Part 1 exam aims to determine whether you have successfully acquired a core body of knowledge that will underpin your ability to practise in Histopathology.  For more information of the first exam in the Royal College of Pathologists examination suite, take a look at our IMG Resources library here.  Please note, trainees must pass the FRCPath Part 1 examination at the end of ST3 in order to progress to ST4.  Selection  Here, trainees will either choose to continue with general histopathology or peruse subspecialisation in neuropathology, paediatric/perinatal pathology, cytopathology or forensic pathology. ST3 – ST4 This training takes place from years 3 – 4, where trainees will either continue with general histopathology or peruse subspecialisation in neuropathology, paediatric/perinatal pathology, cytopathology or forensic pathology. Trainees are expected to be competent in the macroscopic and microscopic assessment of all specimens, and will also receive training in leadership, management and teaching in preparation for their future roles as consultants.  The focus during this stage is also on achieving the FRCPath Part 2 Exam, thereby obtaining the status of Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.  This final exam is designed to test your practical skills and understanding, and show that you can apply your expertise appropriately and safely.  Trainees who wish to continue in general histopathology may opt to sit further exams in cervical cytopathology and autopsy practice if they wish to continue these as a consultant.  To learn more about the final exam in the in FRCPath examination suite, read our detailed blog here.  Please note, trainees must pass the FRCPath Part 2 examination at the end of ST4 in order to progress to ST5.  ST5+ This is the final stage of training before CCT during which histopathology trainees may wish to peruse special interests in particular subspecialties, such as gastrointestinal, skin or gynaecological pathology. Having passed the FRCPath Part 2 exam, trainees will continue to take on responsibility to enable the transition to independent practice required of those with CCT, i.e. signing out reports without consultant review.  Completion of the Histopathology Specialty Training Programme  Upon completion of the training programme, the choice is made as to whether the trainee will be awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Histopathology. This will be based on criteria set out in the curriculum by the Royal College. You can find the 2021 curriculum here.  At this point, the histopathologists are entered onto the specialist register and can now take permanent consultant posts in the NHS.  Specialist Registration for overseas doctors  Doctors who completed part or all of their histopathology training outside of the UK are eligible for specialist registration through the CESR or CESR-CP pathways. To learn more about specialist registration for overseas doctors, read our blog here.  Joining the Histopathology Specialty Training Programme as an IMG  It is possible for overseas doctors to join the Specialty Training programme in Histopathology in the UK, however it is very competitive.   IMGs interested in UK specialty training must have:  Full GMC registration   Completion of a minimum 12-month (FY1 equivalent) internship  English language test  PLAB  AND  12 months post-internship experience by the time you begin ST1  Although UK trainees are not given priority for specialty training places, it can be very difficult to join the Specialty Training programme without NHS experience.  So here you have it, the NHS Specialty Training pathway for trainees in a nutshell. This training scheme is the core of training for histopathologists in the UK, and for IMGs looking to join the training programme, understanding of the pathway allows you to better align your overseas training with the relevant stage you would enter into Specialty Training in the UK.  If you have any further questions about your route to the UK as an overseas histopathologist, FRCPath, or any other aspect of GMC Registration, the NHS or the UK, please get in touch with us here.   We'd also like to invite you to join the IMG Histopathologists online community - as well as support on Royal College exams, our Facebook group of international pathologists and dedicated pathology recruiters offers guidance on other aspects of working in the UK, including finding NHS posts and CESR.  Follow us on social media through the links below for regular news and updates on the Royal Colleges, relocating to the UK and working in the NHS:             

Pathology Slide

FRCPath Histopathology Part 2 - Details for International Candidates

  • June 21, 2022

In response to the high number of enquiries we've had from overseas pathologists about the arrangements for the Autumn sitting of the FRCPath Histopathology Part 2 exam, we've been in contact with the Royal College of Pathologists and have summarised these updates under the headings below. When will the FRCPath Histopathology Part 2 exam be held? The publicised dates for the exam are Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 October 2022, although these are subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The withdrawal deadline for the exams is Friday 15 July 2022. Can I sit the FRCPath Histopathology Part 2 exam in Autumn 2022? The RCPath guidance which asks candidates to wait to sit the Part 2 exam the year after passing the Part 1 exam was in place to avoid overwhelming the limited capacity of the exam centres. Those who were successful in the Spring 2021 Part 1 exam are able to sit the Part 2 exam in Spring 2022. If the College needs to prioritise bookings, it will be done in the same way as previously. Therefore, if there is a requirement for candidates who have passed in Spring 2022 to wait until Spring 2023 to apply, a notice will be put on the News section of the examinations page around the end of May/ beginning of June. It is therefore important to check regularly for updates to the examinations page, which you can do here. Where can I sit the FRCPath Histopathology Part 2 exam in Autumn 2022? Details on the Autumn 2022 sitting of FRCPath Part 2 have yet to be finalised, howevever, unlike Spring 2022, it may be possible to arrange to sit the exam in Irbid (Jordan), Dubai (UAE) or Cairo (Egypt) if there are sufficient applicants. The availability of FRCPath Part 2 examination centres outside of the UK will be indicated on the Royal College website (when the application window opens for Autumn 2022 at the end of May) and candidates should contact the Examinations Department to express their interest in taking the exam in the available centre when they make their application. We therefore advise that you keep a eye on the RCPath application page here. Will the College have any microscopes available for me to use for the exam? The College's overall policy is that the College and centres have no obligation to provide microscopes. Candidates can bring their own as this is equipment they are familiar with, or can hire a microscope. Some overseas centres may be more able to provide microscopes and if that is the case it would be stated on the letter sent to candidates with their centre confirmation.  If you would like to borrow a mircoscope for your FRCPath Histopathology Part 2 exam, we advise that you check well in advance what the options are for your chosen centre, or are available to you online.  If you have any further questions about the FRCPath exams, your route to the UK as an overseas histopathologist, or any other aspect of GMC Registration, the NHS or relocating to the UK, please get in touch with us here.   We'd also like to invite you to join the IMG Histopathologists online community - as well as support on Royal College exams, our Facebook group of international pathologists and dedicated pathology recruiters offers guidance on other aspects of working in the UK, including finding NHS posts and CESR.  Follow us on social media through the links below for regular news and updates on the Royal Colleges, relocating to the UK and working in the NHS:             

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CESR - a comprehensive guide for histopathologists

  • May 02, 2022

IMGs from any country in the world can apply for Specialist Registration, provided certain eligibility criteria are met, though there are different routes available based on a doctor’s qualifications and training.  Here we explore specialist registration in histopathology for overseas consultant pathologists and specialists more closely. We’ll cover the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) specifically, including the application, costs, and eligibility criteria, along with some other topics, summarised in the headings below:  What is Specialist Registration? What route to Specialist Registration is best for me as an overseas pathologist? Do I have to complete CESR before I can work in the UK? Do I need FRCPath for Specialist Registration? What is the CESR equivalence process? What evidence do I need to submit for a CESR in histopathology? How much does CESR cost? How long is the CESR application process? #IMG Tips How do I get started? Skip ahead to the relevant section if you know what you’re looking for.  Specialist Registration  Specialist registration in any specialty means that you can be appointed to a substantive (permanent) consultant position in the NHS. All physicians who wish to take permanent consultant roles in the UK must show evidence of skills, knowledge, and experience in order to gain Specialist Registration.   Specialist Registration is additional to full registration with the GMC and is therefore not required to practice as a histopathologist in the UK.  Routes to Specialist Registration  There are three types of certificates issued by the GMC for specialist registration across all specialties, and the type of certificate you receive depends on which training route you followed.  For pathologists who have completed their full training outside of a GMC-approved training programme, CESR is the route they will usually take towards attaining specialist registration. This route does not require further training, but rather the submission of an application.   Doctors who have trained outside the UK or Switzerland, but within an EEA country, will be awarded CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training) after a successful specialist registration application. Specialist Certifications from across the EU are deemed as equivalent by the GMC, and therefore a straightforward application can be made.   NHS Positions in the NHS without CESR  It is important to note that you attain more senior histopathology roles in the NHS, such as a specialty doctor (SAS), specialist grade or a locum consultant without being on the Specialist Register.  Similarly, overseas doctors do not require CESR before moving to the UK to work in the NHS.  In these NHS roles, you will have better pay and responsibilities that are more appropriate to your level of experience compared to a trainee. While working in these positions, you can collect evidence of your competences, particularly those specific to the UK histopathology curriculum.  These positions also facilitate a faster route to the UK than the CESR route, which can take a substantial amount of time.  FRCPath for Specialist Registration  Whilst it is always beneficial pathologists to complete FRCPath, overseas doctors looking to join the Specialist Register do not necessarily need to have completed the Royal College postgraduate exams.  The standard test of knowledge in the CCT curriculum are the FRCPath exams, so passing these exams confirms the attainment of the competencies of the Histopathology Curriculum.  FRCPath is only a requirement for doctors looking to attain Specialist Registration via the CCT route.  However, if CESR applicants have not successfully completed these exams, they must provide alternative evidence that demonstrates equivalent knowledge to histopathologists who have passed the FRCPath exams.  Even if the competencies covered by the exams require something that someone in your position would not routinely undertake (in your sub-specialty for example), you must still provide evidence of it – as the evaluators will not make assumptions outside of the evidence presented.  CESR Equivalence Process  Equivalence describes the process of assessing an overseas applicant’s training and experience against the current histopathology training programme requirements, in order to be awarded CESR.  The equivalence process involves submitting a written body of evidence to the GMC, consisting of:  training and/or competence  skills and knowledge  The Royal College of Pathologists will assess each application against the relevant Curriculum before providing a recommendation to the GMC, who will then make a decision.  Please note that Equivalence procedures are the responsibility of the GMC. Applications are made through their Certification Department and initial enquiries should be directed there.  Evidence Requirements for CESR in Histopathology  Skills & Experience: The evidence provided for a CESR application in histopathology must cover the knowledge, skills, and qualifications to demonstrate the required competencies in all areas of the Curriculum for Specialty Training in Histopathology. If evidence is missing from any area of the curriculum, the application may be unsuccessful.  Capabilities in Practice: The Royal College of Pathologists has divided the Training Curriculum into 11 different Capabilities in Practice (CiPs) – each comes along with its own descriptor and guidance on where such CiPs would be evidenced.  Applicants are required to gather evidence by area of competence and attach this under the relevant section of the online application.  Generic CiPs  Able to function effectively within healthcare and other organisational and management systems to deliver consistent high-quality patient care.  Able to work within ethical and legal frameworks across all aspects of clinical practice.  Communicates effectively and is able to share decision making, while maintaining appropriate situational awareness, professional behaviour and professional judgement.  Maintains patient safety at the forefront of clinical working. Can utilise quality improvement activity realistically within the constraints of the role.  Able to contribute to and support research.  Behaves as an educator in the context of the role and promotes educational culture.  Able to self-appraise, learn and adapt.  Histopathology-specific CiPs  Able to demonstrate leadership and management within the laboratory setting for the benefit of patient care.  Able to use laboratory and other services effectively in the investigation, diagnosis, and management of patients, relatives, and the deceased.  Able to manage and contribute to a multidisciplinary team effectively.  Able to take, manage and interpret pathological specimens accurately and safely, mindful of risks to self and others.  Audit and Governance: You are required to submit evidence of your active leadership in audit, including evidence that you have completed at least one audit cycle. Currency of evidence: Your evaluators will be looking for evidence of current competency, generally defined as within the last five years. If you have completed training before this point, it is crucial that you provide evidence of maintaining competency across the whole area of the curriculum.   The GMC asks that only evidence that is strictly relevant is sent as it will help them to process the application quicker. The guidance on compiling your evidence will help you to decide what is relevant and what is not – you can find this on the GMC website here.  As a general guide, the GMC usually expects to see about 800-1000 pages of evidence, divided into four different domains, reflecting those of Good Medical Practice. The GMC recommends that you apportion the evidence provided as shown below:  Domain 1 - Knowledge, skills, and performance  Domain 2 – Safety and quality  Domain 3 – Communication, partnership, and teamwork  Domain 4 – Maintaining trust  Please note, you cannot compensate for evidence lacking in one area by providing more evidence in another area.  The full list of evidence required for each domain can be found on the GMC website here.  The Cost of CESR Applications  All histopathology applying for Specialist Registration must pay a fee. For CESR, this fee is £1,676. For CESR-CP and CCT, the cost is £439.  How long does it take to complete a CESR in Histopathology application?  The GMC estimate that it can take between six and eight months to receive a decision, from the date you submit your CESR application.  As there is a substantial amount of evidence to gather for a CESR application, the process of preparing all the necessary documentation and applying for CESR can take even longer than this, and a typical candidate will usually set out to complete this within 1 – 3 years.  It is worth noting that more senior histopathologists, such as consultants, are more likely to have achieved all the competences outlined in the curriculum.  The indicative period of training for a CCT in histopathology is five years, so it is highly unlikely that you would achieve the competencies required for a CCT in a shorter period of time. Therefore, CESR is not suitable for more junior pathologists.  #IMG Tips  Research/think about the types of evidence you will need and begin to gather your evidence well in advance of making your application.   Gather evidence prospectively – this is much easier than retrospectively trying to pull together the evidence under additional pressures.  Make sure that your evidence is of the highest possible quality and is current – you will be assessed against the most recent curriculum.   Ensure that the evidence you collect demonstrates your competence across the whole of the histopathology curriculum, not just your sub-specialty.     Remember to refer to the most up-to-date Histopathology Specialty Training Curriculum and Specialty Specific Guidance for the evidence requirements in your specialty.   Create a CESR ‘to do list’ with sections under the 11 CiPs headings – organise your evidence directly into these sections to manage your progress.  Do not submit original documents – all your copies, other than qualifications you’re getting authenticated must be accompanied by a proformas signed by the person who is attesting to the validity and accuracy of your evidence (your verifier).  Ask an IMG Connect recruitment specialist about NHS histopathology posts with CESR support. These are not always advertised by the Trusts, but we can help you to find a role which aligns well with your career goals in the NHS.  Join the IMG Histopathologists community – as well as support on Royal College exams, our online community of international pathologists and dedicated pathology recruiters offers guidance on other aspects of working in the UK, including finding NHS posts and CESR.  Getting started  Many pathology IMGs likely haven’t completed a UK-approved training programme, but you could be eligible for Specialist Registration with the GMC via the CESR route. Take a look at our guide to CESR Applications for Histopathology for more information on how to apply and what to expect.  If you have any further questions about Specialist Registration, your route to the UK, or would like guidance in finding NHS histopathology posts which offer CESR support, please get in touch with us here.   Follow us on social media through the links below for regular news and updates on the Royal Colleges, relocating to the UK and working in the NHS:              


How to prepare for FRCPath Part 1 with Dr Maria

  • June 26, 2022

Are you an overseas histopathologist looking to sit the FRCPath exams?  Today we’re bringing you a guide on how to prepare for the FRCPath Histopathology Part 1 exam from Dr Maria, clinical fellow in cellular pathology in London. Maria passed the FRCPath Part 1 exam in March 2021 and is sharing her top tips for FRCPath aspirants, including study planning, revision materials and what you should know about the Part 1 exam.  1. Create a plan and schedule for your study (this is most important!)  I started studying around 3 months before the exam, spending 2-3 hours per day on weekdays and around 5-7 hours on study at the weekend.  REMINDER: This all depends on how much you know already. You cannot focus constantly for hours, so you should schedule your studying time around the way that you know you work best.  Leading up to the exam  Try to keep at least 2 weeks free prior to the exam to re-revise problematic topics and genetics.  The day before exam  Be kind to yourself. Have a good meal, try to relax if you can and avoid stressing too much. Go to bed early and have a good, long sleep.  2. Revision materials  I had been revising using my old notes, where I studied from these books (the best for trainees in my opinion):  Foundation in Diagnostic Pathology series Dermatopathology  Pulmonary Pathology  Hematopathology  Head and Neck Pathology  Gynecologic Pathology  Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology  Cell and Tissue Based Molecular Pathology  Pulmonary Pathology  Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology  Genitourinary Pathology  Breast Pathology  Neuropathology  Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology  Diagnostic Pathology series Diagnostic Pathology: Head and Neck  Diagnostic Pathology: Genitourinary  Diagnostic Pathology: Spleen  Diagnostic Pathology: Thoracic  Diagnostic Pathology: Neuropathology  Diagnostic Pathology: Hepatobiliary and Pancreas  Diagnostic Pathology: Nonneoplastic Dermatopathology  Diagnostic Pathology: Neoplastic Dermatopathology  Diagnostic Pathology: Bone  Diagnostic Pathology: Breast  Diagnostic Pathology: Familial Cancer Syndromes  Diagnostic Pathology: Molecular Oncology  Diagnostic Pathology: Infectious Diseases  Diagnostic Pathology: Gastrointestinal  Diagnostic Pathology: Kidney Diseases  Diagnostic Pathology: Placenta  Diagnostic Pathology: Gynaecological  Diagnostic Pathology: Transplant Pathology  Diagnostic Pathology: Cardiovascular  Diagnostic Pathology: Intraoperative Consultation  Diagnostic Pathology: Cytopathology  Diagnostic Pathology: Paediatric Neoplasms  Diagnostic Pathology: Endocrine  Diagnostic Pathology: Normal Histology  Diagnostic Pathology: Lymph Nodes and Extra-nodal Lymphomas  Diagnostic Pathology: Blood and Bone Marrow  Diagnostic Pathology: Vascular  Diagnostic Pathology: Hospital Autopsy  There are so many books, and it would be too expensive to purchase them all, so stick to what you've got in your department or can borrow from friends or colleagues.  The Pathology Outlines website is also excellent for quick review and genetics! There are also MCQs.  Some trainees study from the Robbins Pathology books, however, in my opinion, this book alone is not enough for the Part 1 exam.  For the MCQs, I used the following resources:  Practical Applications in Histopathology, Cytopathology and Autopsy: an MCQ/ EMQ Resource – Limci Gupta, Jayson Wang, Val Thomas  Anatomic Pathology Board Review – Jay H. Lefkowitch  Robbins Review of Pathology - Edward Klatt, Vinay Kumar  Sternberg's Diagnostic Surgical Pathology Review – Pier Luigi Di Patre, Darryl Carter  Various past papers I found within my network  If you have access to old presentations from FRCPath Part 1 courses, I’d suggest having a look at them. It’s a good idea to use them to review and revise a topic, followed by some MCQs on that topic.  TOPIC  START DATE  DURATION  Breast  27 October 2020  6 days  GIT  2 November  8 days  Liver, GB, Pancreas  10 November  8 days  Skin  18 November  6 days  Endocrine System  24 November  7 days  CNS  1 December  7 days  Renal & Urinary  8 December  9 days  Bone  17 December  5 days  Soft Tissue  22 December  9 days  CVS  31 December   5 days  Thoracic Pathology (Lung & Mediastinum)  5 January 2021  7 days  Lymph Node  12 January  7 days  MGT  19 January  7 days  FGT & Placenta  26 January  8 days  Oral & Nasal  3 February  7 days  Autopsy & Forensic  10 February  7 days  General  17 February  7 days  Cytopathology  24 February  5 days  Clinical Governance  1 March  5 days  Syndromes & Paediatric  6 March  5 days  General Revision  11 March onwards  -  This is a guide to the revision schedule I used for my FRCPath preparation. I actually started studying in December, so I had less time to fit this all in, but I was able to revise faster to cover everything.  3. FRCPath Part 1 Exam  The questions in the FRCPath Part 1 exam are usually quite straightforward, so you either know the answer or you don't, nothing misleading or tricky.  Some key topics you’ll need to know for the exam:  Genetics and the mutation of tumours (and'll need to learn each tumour that has any typical mutation and its name)  Immunohistochemistry of lesions  Microscopic pictures (all the micro images I had in the test depicted typical morphology)  Genetic syndromes, the mutations behind them and what lesions are most common  Datasets - they are quite wordy, so focus only on pTN, and the stage of each organ system  Audit  Parts of a microscope  There were some questions from general pathology (necrosis, inflammation, etc.), but I’d say most of the questions were from GI, breast, gynae, skin, soft tissue and kidney.  However, you'll have at least a few questions from each of the other organ systems, so it's better to study everything rather than focus on the most common ones only.  #IMG Tips  Prepare early – try to start your preparation early to give yourself enough time to cover all the relevant sections on the Royal College curriculum.  Find the right materials to support your study – it's good to use a combination of resources for your study to reinforce existing knowledge and benchmark your progress. Try to find the right materials for you as early as possible to hit the ground running with your revision.  Familiarise yourself with the Royal College curriculum – we cannot stress this enough! All countries have different training programmes, so being well versed in what the RCPath will be looking for is key.  Join the IMG Histopathologists community – as well as support on Royal College exams, our online community of international pathologists and dedicated pathology recruiters offers guidance on other aspects of working in the UK, including finding NHS posts and CESR.  Getting started  Attaining FRCPath Histopathology is a great first step for histopathologists wanting to find senior roles in the NHS. It can be difficult for overseas trainees to prepare for the first exam in the Royal College examination suite, but this quick guide from a successful FRCPath pathologist is a great start for pathologists pursuing the postgraduate route to GMC registration and finding work in the UK. For more information on the FRCPath exams, take a look at our IMG Resources library. If you have any further questions about FRCPath, your route to the UK as an overseas histopathologist, or any other aspect of GMC Registration, please get in touch with us here.   Follow us on social media through the links below for regular news and updates on the Royal Colleges, relocating to the UK and working in the NHS:             

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FRCPath vs PLAB - GMC registration for overseas pathologists

  • June 28, 2022

GMC Registration is a complex process. For histopathologists who’ve qualified outside the EEA region there are two main pathways to consider – FRCPath and PLAB. Whilst these are the most common routes to GMC registration, this is not an exahaustive list. There are other options such as Royal College sponsorship and GMC-approved qualifications or licensing exams, and you can read more about these here. Here we will give a summary of both of the main routes and briefly consider their benefits.  PLAB for GMC Registration FRCPath for GMC Registration Which is better for me as an overseas pathologist, PLAB or FRCPath? #IMG Tips How do I get started? Professional & Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB)  The first and most popular route with most junior doctors is PLAB.  PLAB is a two-part exam (one written one practical), and which assesses whether you are at least as capable as a doctor starting the second year of their Foundation Programme Training and can therefore work safely as an SHO in the NHS.  The GMC have created a video summary of the PLAB exams which you can watch here, or for a more detailed overview, see our IMG Resources library.  FRCPath - UK Postgraduate Qualification  The UK postgraduate qualification for histopathology – FRCPath Histopathology - is the most popular and recommended route for overseas doctors who have completed a training or residency programme, and will be looking for senior pathology positions in the NHS.   By completing both parts of the FRCPath you are awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists. The Royal College of Pathologists is the professional body that regulates the pathology specialties in the UK. Take a look at our IMG Resources library for complete guides on FRCPath for histopathology to learn more.  PLAB vs FRCPath  Both are legitimate routes and will allow you to register with the GMC and work in the UK. To decide which route is best for you, you’ll need to consider the benefits of each and how they align with your priorities and needs in moving to the UK.    Seniority of Positions in the NHS  Histopathology is a consultant led specialty in the UK, and it would be difficult for an overseas pathologist to obtain a more senior post without FRCPath, or extensive experience from a similar, English speaking healthcare system. PLAB alone will not give overseas doctors access to senior posts in the NHS.   Time   PLAB has two stages and can take anywhere between 3-9 months to prepare from start to finish.  FRCPath has two stages and can take anywhere between 18-30 months to prepare from start to finish.   Cost   FRCPath costs just under £1,930 and whilst the Part 2 exam is an in-person exam, the Part 1 exam can be taken online. You can read about the changes to the FRCPath 1 delivery here.  PLAB costs £1,119, and both exams are sat in person. PLAB 1 can be taken in the UK or several overseas centres, which you can find here. PLAB 2 must be taken in the UK.   For both FRCPath Part 2 and PLAB 2, candidates will have to travel to the UK, meaning that the additional cost of visas, accommodation and flights must be factored in.   It’s important to note that these costs can rise if re-sits of the exams are necessary.    Summary  PLAB, as an exam which assesses a doctor’s ability to work safely in the UK, does not demonstrate ability in histopathology specifically. For this reason, PLAB tends to be a route for junior doctors who have not already chosen their field of specialisation in medicine.  Additionally, PLAB can facilitate GMC registration much faster than other routes – so if you feel you can attain an offer of employment in the UK with your overseas experience only – but GMC registration is the one thing standing in your way – PLAB may be a good option for you.   FRCPath involves two more difficult examinations and takes more time to prepare for. Attaining FRCPath in Histopathology will allow you to jumpstart your career in the UK, you’ll most likely be able to take a consultant role. You would not need PLAB or Core Training in addition to FRCPath.   Additionally, histopathology in the UK is also a consultant-led specialism, and FRCPath demonstrates competency to practice unsupervised as a consultant.   #IMG Tips  Determine your priorities – your goals and timeline for relocating to the UK are important in deciding which route is best for, and this is different for everyone.  Plan well ahead – depending on the route you choose, you may be embarking on a long journey through these exams, so plan how you will fit them into your life and how best to prepare to maintain a good work-life balance at the same time.  Find a support network – once you know which exams you will sit, find a support network of others who are also preparing for the exam. A great way to do this is to join IMG Histopathologists, an online pathology community of UK and NHS histopathology aspirants and dedicated histopathology recruiters. You’ll find advice, guidance and news and updates about all things histopathology for IMGs. Join the conversation here.  Getting started  Once you’ve decided which exams are best for you, it’s time to delve deeper into the exams and what they entail. For more useful blogs and articles on PLAB or FRCPath exams, registrations and qualifications to help you find your dream job in the NHS - take a look at our IMG Resources library.   Or if you have any questions on PLAB or Postgraduate qualifications, feel free to get in touch with our histopathology consultants here. For regular news and updates, follow IMG Connect on social media using the links below.             

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FRCPath Part 1 - preparation, revision and resources 

  • July 03, 2022

The first exam in the FRCPath Histopathology series...  Overseas histopathologists may have questions about the best ways to prepare for the FRCPath Part 1 exam. With so many resources available online, but many of them geared towards UK trainees, it can be difficult to know what is best suited to you as an international candidate.  In this blog we have compiled some of the best resources and guidance for FRCPath Part 1 aspirants. We will also quickly cover some of the recent changes to the exam regarding its delivery and availability in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here we’ll take a closer look into these and other important questions through the following topics:  What is FRCPath Part 1? How do I get started with my preparation? What resources are available online? How has COVID-19 affected the exam? #IMG Tips I’ve passed FRCPath Part 1, what’s next? Skip ahead to the relevant section if you know what you’re looking for.  FRCPath Part 1  FRCPath Histopathology Part 1 is the first exam in the two-part examination series, administered by the Royal College of Pathologists. The content of the exam can be broken down into three sections:  The three-hour exam is designed to assess candidates’ overall knowledge and understanding of histopathology or cytopathology, including the full range of autopsy practices undertaken in a district general hospital in the UK and the basic science underpinning pathology, including molecular biology.  For an in-depth guide to the FRCPath Part 1 exam, or for a breakdown of the full FRCPath Histopathology exam suite, visit our IMG resources library.  Please note that only full FRCPath satisfies the GMC’s postgraduate requirements for overseas doctors.  How to get started with preparation for FRCPath Part 1  The best way for IMGs to begin their exam preparation is with the Royal College website and resources. The FRCPath Histopathology exams are based on the Curriculum for Specialty Training in Histopathology and as a rule, this should always be the starting point for your revision. This will ensure you are focusing on the exam material that will feature in your exam – knowing the curriculum is key! You can find this on the Royal College website here.  Royal College resources include:  Regulations and guidelines – before applying for FRCPath exams, the College recommends you read both the general and specialty-specific regulations and guidelines, found below:  General Regulations and Guidelines  Histopathology Regulations and Guidelines FAQs - There is also a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document which the Royal College has compiled to help applicants who have questions about online examinations. You can read this here.  Other helpful resources include:  Oxbridge Medica - FRCPath Part 1 Revision Course  This is a 4-day, exam-oriented online revision course. The course includes live streamed lectures across four days and covers all the major topics of the examination syllabus. The speakers have knowledge of the Royal College exam - some of them are examiners, and all are experienced teachers. The course can be found here.  Duration  4 days  Cost  £300 (£75 deposit)  Next start date  TBC   Pathology Online Hub - FRCPath Part 1 Orientation Course This is a preparatory course aimed at overseas candidates. The course includes an introduction to the exam, including a mock exam with a detailed discussion of answers and exam tips. The course can be found here.  Duration  1 day  Cost  £40   Next start date  TBC   Pathology Online Hub - FRCPath Part 1 Comprehensive Course This is a preparatory course aimed at non-UK candidates. including particularly basic and extended questions on the UK system. The course covers topics which are unique to the UK system and includes a one-hour practice mock similar to the exam format and a detailed discussion of the answers with feedback. The course can be found here.  Duration  1 day  Cost  £45   Next start date  TBC    Reading materials  There is no set reading list or official course for FRCPath Part 1 in Histopathology, however the following books come highly recommended by IMGs who have passed the Part 1 exam:  Practical Applications in Histopathology, Cytopathology & Autopsy – Dr Limci Gupta (£78)  FRCPath, Part 1: Examination Preparation Guide – S. Steele (£22.18)  Sternberg's Diagnostic Surgical Pathology Review - Pier Luigi Di Patre, Darryl Carter (£91.95)  Wheater’s Functional Histology – Barbara Young, Phil Woodford, Geraldine O’Dowd (£44.95)  Robbins and Cotran Atlas of Pathology - Edward Klatt (+/- £45)  (Designed to complement Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 8th Edition and Robbins Basic Pathology, 8th Edition)  How have the exams been affected by COVID-19?  In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal College of Pathologists has migrated the FRCPath Part 1 exam online.  Candidates all over the world are now able to take the exam from their home countries. This development allows the College to continue to offer the FRCPath Part 1 exam to both UK trainees and overseas pathologists, with minimal disruptions to the exam schedule.  For full details about the online FRCPath Part 1 exam, please see our blog here.  #IMG Tips  Prepare early – getting your revision going as soon as possible will help you avoid those last-minute cramming sessions and increase your chances of passing first time.  Speak to your colleagues and peers – there are so many study materials to choose from - who better to ask for recommendations than histopathologists who have been through the process or are going through it with you?  Familiarise yourself with the curriculum – we cannot stress this enough! Every country’s qualification and practice differ, so being well-versed in the curriculum is the first step on your path to success in the exam. Prepare for the online format in advance – make sure to fully complete your IT checks well in advance to avoid tech issues on the day (and save yourself an unnecessary headache). Find a support network – a great way to do this is to join IMG Histopathologists, an online pathology community of UK and NHS histopathology aspirants and dedicated histopathology recruiters. You’ll find advice, guidance and updates about all things histopathology for IMGs. Join the conversation here.  For regular news and updates, follow IMG Connect on social media using the links below:              I’ve passed the FRCPath Part 1 exam, what’s next?  Great stuff! This is a massive achievement, and you deserve to treat yourself after all your hard work. With a pass in hand, it's time to look ahead to FRCPath Part 2. For more information on the final exam in the examination series, take a look at our blog where we explore the FRCPath Part 2, including how to sit the final exam, fees and preparation and results.   Head to our IMG library for more useful articles on the FRCPath exams, GMC registration and qualifications you need to help you find your dream job in the NHS.  Don’t forget to share your progress and successes with us using the hashtag #imgstories on social media, we love to hear from you. 

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