Training in neuropathology

Doctors don’t tend to come across diagnostic neuropathology during Core Medical or Surgical Training, but discover it later in their careers – when they’re some way through histopathology training or training in neurology or neurosurgery.

Because of this, there are a number of routes in – the RCPath part 1 histopathology training programme, two routes via neurosurgery training, and a route that involves speciality training in neurology.

What are the entry requirements?

To enter training to become a neuropathologist, you’ll need to complete one of the following options:

  • Current employment in a GMC-recognised histopathology programme (2021 curriculum) which leads to satisfactory completion of ICPT (Integrated Cellular Pathology Training)
  • Satisfactory completion of ICPT (Integrated Cellular Pathology Training) in a GMC recognised Histopathology training programme (2021 curriculum)
  • Satisfactory completion of Stage A and Stage B in a GMC-recognised Histopathology training programme (2015 curriculum)

How long will it take?

It is anticipated that 5.5–6 years would normally be required to satisfactorily complete the diagnostic neuropathology curriculum to the required depth and breadth, including 2.5 years of the ICPT (Integrated Cellular Pathology Training) and 3 or 3.5 years of neuropathology training to achieve a CCT.

What will my training cover?

Trainees in the specialty will initially develop knowledge of laboratory work, including the analysis and sampling of organs and microscopic analysis of samples, including immunohistochemistry and molecular analysis. Following completion of the FRCPath Part 1 examination (typically after 18 months of training) they will continue to develop their skills in diagnostic neuropathology with greater responsibility, less direct supervision, and increasing experience with independent reporting of suitable specimens. After passing the FRCPath Part 2 examination, trainees will continue to take graded responsibility further, to enable the transition to independent practice required of a CCT holder

Find out more about specialty training in neuropathology.  

What exams will I need to take?

To complete your training, you’ll be required to pass the following.

  • FRCPath Part 1 in Histopathology – this aims to determine whether you have successfully acquired a core body of knowledge that will underpin your ability to practise in Histopathology.
  • FRCPath Part 2 in Neuropathology – this is designed to test your practical skills and understanding, and show that you can apply your expertise appropriately and safely.

For further information about the format of exams, visit our exams pages.