• Anatomical pathology

Anatomical pathology

Summary

Anatomical pathology is the study of organs and tissues to determine the causes and effects of particular diseases. An anatomical pathologist’s findings are fundamental to medical diagnosis, patient management and research. Anatomical pathology involves macroscopic pathology, histopathology (the combination of these two usually being referred to as “surgical” pathology), cytopathology and morbid anatomy. Histopathology is concerned with the microscopic examination of tissues, taken either as biopsy samples or resection specimens. Tissues are assessed macroscopically, and material is taken for microscopic examination for the purpose of diagnosis, prognosis and directing appropriate treatment. Cytopathology is the study of individual cells aspirated or obtained from body fluids or tissues, including exfoliative cytology, to detect abnormalities. Morbid anatomy is the use of the autopsy to determine cause of death and investigate both the associated and “incidental” (unrelated to cause of death) effects of drugs, toxins and disease processes on bodily organs. Anatomical pathologists work with almost all medical specialties, including surgeons and general practitioners, using techniques available in the anatomical pathology laboratory to provide information and advice essential to clinical practice.

specialty image
36 - 40 hours/week
average time worked
$153,795/year
average salary
5 years
min full time
GP sub-specialty
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Anatomical pathology
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)
   
Anatomical pathology is the study of organs and tissues to determine the causes and effects of particular diseases. An anatomical pathologist’s findings are fundamental to medical diagnosis, patient management and research. Anatomical pathology involves macroscopic pathology, histopathology (the combination of these two usually being referred to as “surgical” pathology), cytopathology and morbid anatomy. Histopathology is concerned with the microscopic examination of tissues, taken either as biopsy samples or resection specimens. Tissues are assessed macroscopically, and material is taken for microscopic examination for the purpose of diagnosis, prognosis and directing appropriate treatment. Cytopathology is the study of individual cells aspirated or obtained from body fluids or tissues, including exfoliative cytology, to detect abnormalities. Morbid anatomy is the use of the autopsy to determine cause of death and investigate both the associated and “incidental” (unrelated to cause of death) effects of drugs, toxins and disease processes on bodily organs. Anatomical pathologists work with almost all medical specialties, including surgeons and general practitioners, using techniques available in the anatomical pathology laboratory to provide information and advice essential to clinical practice.
https://www.rcpa.edu.au/Pathology-Careers/Becoming-A-Pathologist/Detailed-Information-About-Becoming-a-Pathologist/Curriculum
$1,144 per training year
36 - 40
45/55
43
5
Oversubscribed
245
No
N/A
The college accepts applications from registered medical practitioners with a minimum of two years of postgraduate experience who wish to become specialist pathologists. Applicants must be employed in an accredited laboratory before seeking registration with the college. Laboratories are accredited for training in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. The college plays no part in placing applicants in employment. Pathology training takes a minimum of five years.

Training can be undertaken in general or clinical pathology or in one of the single disciplines: anatomical pathology, chemical pathology, genetic pathology, forensic pathology, haematology, immunopathology or microbiology.
Candidates are encouraged to have two years of postgraduate clinical practice, though one year is the minimum requirement.
Applications are made online via the college:
https://www.rcpa.edu.au/Trainees/Curriculum/Docs/RCPA-Trainee-Handbook/Trainee-Handbook-Administrative-Requirements/
51
$153,795
Basic pathological sciences examination: $670 ($140 if a current medical student)
Anatomical pathology Part I examination: $2,340
Anatomical pathology Part II examination: $2,340
$5,350
Training is normally full-time. A minimum of five full-time equivalent years of certified training in laboratories accredited by the Board of Education and Assessment must be completed before admission to Fellowship. For joint training with the RACP in chemical pathology/endocrinology, haematology, and immunology and allergy, one year is retrospectively accredited for the completion of Basic Physician Training. Part-time training (in an accredited training program) may be acceptable in certain instances. Part-time training must average at least 8 hours per week for RCPA training programs and at least 16 hours per week for joint RACP/RCPA training programs.

In order to specialise in a single pathology discipline, four of the five years of approved laboratory training must be in that discipline. Trainees may elect to spend at least one aggregate year of their training in one or more branches of pathology other than their chosen discipline.
Annual registration for all trainees closes in February. Applications for examinations also close in February. Examinations are generally held in late May. All applicants must have secured employment in a training position in a laboratory accredited by the college.
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