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As a science, pathology provides us with an understanding of the processes of disease. And as science and medicine move ever closer, so pathologists in many disciplines are directly involved in patient care.

Pathology comprises five main disciplines: chemical pathology (also, and increasingly, known as clinical biochemistry); haematology, histopathology, immunology and medical microbiology. Each encompasses sub-specialties - for example histocompatibility and immunogenetics within immunology, virology and mycology within microbiology and cytopathology, neuropathology, forensic pathology and others. Each of these disciplines has a different appeal and combination of laboratory and clinical work: all of them offer excellent opportunities for research.

Pathology also encompasses several other smaller disciplines, all of which are growing in importance. These include genetics, toxicology and histocompatibility and immunogenetics.

Further information

If you think that a career in pathology might be what you are looking for, talk to the pathologists in your own hospital and find out why they enjoy their work. And for further information on training programmes, please contact the Training & Educational Standards Department,

For leaflets aimed at the general public and school students, please click on the pictures above to download the PDFs, or contact the Publications Department. Email: or call 020 7451 6730.

The information on careers in this section (see left-hand menu) is taken from the College leaflet, 'A Career in Pathology'.


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