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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.

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! 
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. 
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. 
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.
88,364 - 119,133

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

An excellent NHS Trust is currently seeking Consultant Histopathologists for a locum position. This role offers the chance to work alongside a team of ten pathologists within one of the Eastern Region\'s leading healthcare organizations. The Trust is known for its comprehensive acute services. The position is suitable for candidates with EEA specialization or experienced IMGs pursuing CESR.

The NHS Trust is a district general hospital trust comprising three hospitals. It serves the communities of three towns, consistently achieving a commendable CQC rating for its commitment to high-quality healthcare services.

The Histopathology Department is a vital healthcare component, staffed by experienced histopathologists, including consultants and junior doctors. Equipped with cutting-edge facilities, the department ensures precise diagnoses for a diverse caseload, from routine biopsies to complex cancer evaluations. Annually, the department handles a substantial number of histopathology and cytology cases, making it an ideal environment for professionals seeking career growth in histopathology.

The hospital is situated in a town that offers both urban and rural settings within reach. The area features diverse schooling options and excellent transportation links, including rail services to London, easy access to major cities, and airports. Housing choices range from modern apartments to family-friendly homes, making it an appealing destination for medical professionals and families alike.

Apply now and get the chance to contribute to the provision of high-quality healthcare services in a dynamic and supportive environment. Experience career growth and an enriching life in an urban area with a touch of scenic beauty.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Anatomical Pathology
  • Specialist European Qualification in Anatomical Pathology

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • FRCPath
  • Experience of working in Anatomical Pathology

UK based applicants

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


Pathology Slide

UK Training Pathway for Histopathologists

  • April 06, 2023

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

  • April 06, 2023

In response to the high number of inquiries 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, however, 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 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 an 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 microscope 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:             

Pathology Slide

How to prepare for FRCPath Part 1 with Dr Maria

  • March 09, 2023

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:             

Pathology Slide

CESR - a comprehensive guide for histopathologists

  • April 06, 2023

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 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.   Pathology 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 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 decisionmaking, 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 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:              

Pathology Slide

FRCPath Part 1 – an in-depth guide for overseas histopathologists 

  • March 09, 2023

The first exam in the FRCPath Histopathology series...  International histopathologists (or cellular or anatomical pathologists as commonly known) looking to secure a job in the NHS via the postgraduate qualification route will need to attain Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists. This can also be commonly referred to as FRCPath Histopathology.  The completion of Part 1 and Part 2 of the Royal College of Pathology qualification for Histopathology results in eligibility for GMC registration (with the addition of the English language component). The FRCPath qualification is recommended for overseas pathologists looking to securing senior jobs in the NHS.  The exams can be taken by IMGs from all over the world, provided certain eligibility criteria have been met. Here we’ll take a closer look into these and other important questions through the following topics:  An overview of FRCPath Histopathology What is FRCPath Part 1 and how is it structured? Changes to FRCPath Part 1 delivery Am I eligible to sit this exam? How much will the exam cost and how do I apply? What is the best way to prepare for the exam? #IMG Tips I’ve passed the FRCPath Part 1 exam, what’s next? Skip ahead to the relevant section if you know what you’re looking for.  An overview of FRCPath Histopathology  The FRCPath Histopathology exams are administered by the Royal College of Pathologists to test a doctor's knowledge and ability to apply this in the practice of histopathology within the scope of the Specialty Training Curriculum for Histopathology.  The exams are as follows:  FRCPath Part 1  FRCPath Part 2  To read more about the full FRCPath examination suite via our IMG resources, please click here.  Please note that only full FRCPath satisfies the requirements for GMC registration for overseas doctors taking the postgraduate route.   Alternative routes to GMC registration include PLAB and other licensing exams such as USMLE. You can find out more about alternative routes here.  For doctors who are interested in more senior roles in the NHS that are reflective of their current practice, we advise that FRCPath is the best route to take to GMC registration. Histopathology in the UK is consultant-led specialism; and many NHS job postings will have FRCPath as a requirement for doctors who are not on the Specialist Register.  FRCPath Part 1 breakdown  FRCPath Part 1 is the first exam in the Royal College of Pathologists qualification. It is broken down into three sections as follows:  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.  FRCPath Part 1 delivery  In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal College of Pathologists has migrated the FRCPath Part 1 exam online.  This means FRCPath Part 1 may be taken from the comfort of your own home. This development allows the College to continue to offer the FRCPath Part 1 exam to both UK trainees and overseas pathologists.   For full details about the online FRCPath Part 1 exam, please see our blog here.  Eligibility  Candidates for FRCPath Part 1 will generally require experience of Histopathology specialty training to reach the standard required to pass the exam. The Royal College advise that candidates take this exam after one year of specialty training.  Exam dates, applications and cost  The cost of the exam is £673 and the exam are usually held twice a year, in spring and in autumn/winter.  Applications for each sitting open a few months prior and close after around 6 weeks. While waiting for exam dates to be finalised the College advise that candidates should apply early and will be able to withdraw their application for a full refund should the date be unsuitable.  For up-to-date information on exam and application dates, keep an eye on the College website here.  Preparation  There are many resources available to help you prepare for your FRCPath Part 1 exam. As always, we recommend that the best starting point for your study is the Royal College website, particularly the Curriculum for Specialty Training in Histopathology. Your exam is based on this curriculum so familiarising yourself with it as soon as possible will give you the best chance of success.  Other helpful resources for your study 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  Social media study groups – there are multiple study groups available across different platforms such as Telegram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. IMG Connect hosts study groups for FRCPath Part 1 – these forums bring together overseas histopathologists in one communicative, constructive, and moderated space for learning, sharing, and support.  If you are interested in joining the IMG Connect FRCPath Part 1 study group, please email to speak to request your admission.  Online courses, videos and other resources - there are some great online courses and resources available to prepare for the FRCPath Part 1 exam. These include everything from full mock exams to flashcards and YouTube videos. We’ve compiled all these which you can access here, through our IMG Resources library.  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.  #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 online format – there’s no bigger headache than a bad connection – go through your IT checks well in advance to avoid (most) hiccups on the day  Join the online histopathology community – connect with like-minded histopathologists and dedicated pathology recruiters in the IMG Histopathologists Facebook group.  I’ve passed the FRCPath Part 1 exam, what’s next?  Congratulations – this is a massive achievement! After a well-deserved break, it’s time to look forward to FRCPath Part 2. For more information on the final exam in the examination suite, take a look at our blog where we explore FRCPath Part 2 and everything you need to know about how to sit the exam, including syllabus, dates, results, fees and preparation.  For more useful blogs & articles on the FRCPath exams, registrations & qualifications to help you find your dream job in the NHS - take a look at our IMG library.  Follow us on social media for news and updates on GMC registration, the Royal College and NHS through the links below:             

Pathology Slide

FRCPath in Histopathology – an overview

  • March 09, 2023

Overseas histopathologists wanting to secure a job in the UK via the postgraduate qualification route will need to attain Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in Histopathology or FRCPath in Histopathology, a sub-specialty exam of FRCPath. FRCPath is the UK qualification and a GMC-recognised postgraduate route. International Medical Graduates (IMGs) from any country in the world can sit the sub-specialty FRCPath in Histopathology examinations, provided certain eligibility criteria are met. These are summarised below along with a broad look at the following topics: What is FRCPath in Histopathology? Eligibility for overseas doctors FRCPath in Histopathology structure and format FRCPath in Histopathology: Part 1 - MCQ/EMQ FRCPath in Histopathology: Part 2 - Practical Examination As an overseas candidate where can I take the exams and how much will it cost me? How do I apply? How to prepare and what resources are available? Passed? What next? What is FRCPath in Histopathology? Set against the Curriculum for Specialty Training in Histopathology, the examinations are designed to recognise histopathologists close to the end of their training who can demonstrate sufficient knowledge and technique for independent practice. In other words, completion of the full set of exams (Part 1 & 2) demonstrates your ability to work at consultant level. Eligibility for overseas doctors: Below we outline the eligibility for overseas doctors looking to sit both FRCPath Histopathology exams. For international candidates, the eligibility criteria for FRCPath specialty examinations can be a little confusing when looking online so IMG Connect spoke to the Royal College directly in an effort to clarify this. Time spent in histopathology training is stated as a requirement of eligibility and the Royal College do consider equivalents to NHS training programmes though there is no list of countries with accepted or unaccepted training programmes. The royal college advises you should speak to your Educational Supervisor or Sponsor (if you have one) who can advise you if you are ready or eligible to sit the Examinations if you are unsure. Remember, there are many overseas doctors applying for all parts of the FRCPath exams so don’t be put off applying! Top Tip: If you have the required months training in a recognised programme in your country for Histopathology specifically, the chances are you will be eligible. Eligibility for Part 1:You are required to have trained in a recognised training programme in Histopathology for a period of no less than 12 months.  Did you know? Candidates who have passed the FRCPath Part 1 examination in Histopathology who, after appropriate training, can attempt the Part 2 examination in one of the following: Forensic Pathology, Neuropathology or Paediatric Pathology. Eligibility for Part 2: The Royal College expects you to have at least three years of specialty training specific to Histopathology in your own country. Furthermore, the Royal College strongly advises candidates to attempt Part 2 at least 12 months after passing Part 1. FRCPath in Histopathology structure and format: The FRCPath examinations consist of two parts: Part 1 – One paper comprised of 125 multiple choice questions (SBAs and EMQs) Part 2 – six-part practical examination held over two consecutive days. Part 1 examination: FRCPath Histopathology Part 1 One comprises of 125 multiple choice questions in both single-best-answer (SBAs) and extended-matching-questions (EMQs). The exam is orientated towards assessing your overall knowledge and understanding of: histopathology/ cytopathology basic science underpinning pathology (inc. molecular biology) full range of autopsy practices undertaken in an NHS District General Hospital Part 2 Practical Examinations: The exams consists of six components taken over two days, summarised below: Part 2 Practical examinations Surgical history 20 cases in 20-minute slots Cytopathology 8 cases in 20-minute slots Macroscopic pathology 4 cases with 20-minute reviews followed by 20-minute discussions OSPEs 2 20-minute stations Long cases 4 20-minute stations Frozen sections 6 cases in 2, 20-minute stations. One meeting with examiners in separate 20-minute station. Surgical history: 20 cases are provided in 10 pairs of haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained slides in 20-minute slots over 3-hours 20 minutes of the second morning. The cases will represent a range of difficulties, with some proving complex cases requiring detailed description, differential diagnosis and special techniques or cases not diagnosable on a single H&E. Cytopathology: Held on the first morning of the exam. Eight non-gynaecological cytology cases will be provided in pairs in 20-minute slots. Macroscopic Pathology: This part is designed to allow candidates to demonstrate their capabilities in discussing gross pathology and familiarity with block selection in the context of the RCPath Minimum Datasets. Four cases provided in the form of photographs of gross pathology specimens. Two 20-minute slots will be provided for 2 cases, followed by 20-minute discussions with 2 examiners.  OSPEs: 2 x 20-minute stations. One of which is conducted face-to-face with 2 examiners while the other is a written exercise only. Possible topics can include management/clinical governance type and MDT type cases. Long Cases: 4 x 20-minutes stations provided on the first afternoon including cases which cannot conventionally be covered in a single H&E stained section. Frozen Sections: 6 cases viewed in 2 x 20-minutes stations (3 cases per station) before meeting with a pair of examiners in a 20-minute station. You need to take notes and be able to provide the examiners with a bottom-line diagnosis only, to form basis for discussion in face to face meetings. Where can I take the exams and how much will they cost me? The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to Royal College exams across all specialties, and unfortunately the RCPath exams have been affected also. For the most up-to-date news on the RCPath examinations please refer to their website here. FRCPath Part 1 (current COVID-19 arrangements): In 2022, the Part 1 examination will be offered using online delivery to candidates. This means you can take the exam remotely and will not need to travel overseas to sit the exam, or attend an examination centre. The College will deliver the written components of these examinations through a company called TestReach, the Oral components (including oral OSPE stations) will be delivered using a video-conferencing platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams and for the written examinations, candidates will be given the opportunity to trial the TestReach system to familiarise themselves with it ahead of the examination. You can read more about the new, remote examination process further here on our website. Previously, the Part 1 examination was sat in multiple overseas centres and once the pandemic is under better control globally, it is highly anticipated the Royal College will return to previous set-ups. The FRCPath Part 1 exam costs £622. You can see how the Royal College breaks down the cost here on their website. FRCPath Part 2 (current COVID-19 arrangements): Part 2 exams will be held in person in the UK in 2022. There will be no online delivery for the exam. Keep an eye on the RCPath website for the most up-to-date news on the exams. The FRCPath Part 2 exam costs £1,308. You can see how the Royal College breaks down the cost here on their website. How do I apply? Applications must be made via the Royal College of Pathologists website, with applications only available once an application window is opened by the Royal College. This is usually twice a year, in SPrin and in Autumn. How do I prepare for RCPath exams and what study resources are available? With lots of resources available online, we have discussed with consultants the best place to start looking for materials relating to the exams. Most recommended starting with the Royal College, who have created useful resources to help you to prepare for the exams.  Curriculum: Questions are set against the Curriculum for Specialist Training in Histopathology We recommend getting to know the curriculum as early as possible and using it as a road map for your study plan.  Regulations and Guidelines: Before applying for FRCPath examinations, the Royal College recommends you read both the General & Specialty Specific regulations and guidelines: General Regulations and Guidelines Royal College - Histopathology Regulations & Guidelines Sample Questions:Testing yourself against previous exam questions is always a recommended way to prepare. Histopathology Part 1 sample questions Cancer Datasets and Tissue Pathways: The College’s datasets for Histopathological Reporting on cancers have been written to help pathologists work towards a consistent approach for the reporting of the more common cancers and to define acceptable practices in handling pathology specimens. Whilst these are not specific to FRCPath examinations they are certainly relevant to the wider practice in histopathology. IMG Connect advice: Part 2 – food and drink:With multiple exams taking place for Part 2 in one day bring supplies! It will be a long day and there may not be access to food. Hiring a microscope: For Part 2 you will be required to sit examinations in the UK and will require a microscope. The examination centres will not provide equipment for any applicants so you will need to hire a microscope in advance. There are a few companies easily accessible through a web search, find a microscope and book well in advance of the exam. You can arrange for the company to drop off and pick up the microscope from the exam centre, don’t worry! I passed the FRCPath exams! What next? First of all, congratulations! After you have passed both parts of FRCPath in Histopathology you can apply for a full registration with a license to practice. Once the GMC have approved your application, you can work as a histopathologist in the UK.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with an IMG Consultant to discuss UK job options in Histopathology, including discussions regarding a typical doctor salary in the UK and the most suitable locations for you.  The Royal College makes it clear that individuals who reach the standard required to pass the FRCPath examination in their chosen specialty are deemed to have the necessary professional competence to practice unsupervised. FRCPath also greatly contributes to the Certificate Confirming Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR), the alternative route to the Specialist Register for doctors who do not complete their training in an approved UK training programme.  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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