Training in paediatric and perinatal pathology

To train as a consultant paediatric and perinatal pathologist, you need a medical background. Since the practice of paediatric and perinatal pathology is rooted in the science of human tissue, paediatric and perinatal pathologists train in histopathology before specialising later on.

What are the entry requirements?

To enter training to be a consultant paediatric and perinatal pathologist, you’ll need to:

  • qualify as a doctor
  • register with the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • complete the UK Foundation Training Programme or equivalent.

You’ll then need to complete basic histopathology training, which covers surgical pathology, autopsy and cytopathology. Once you’ve passed Stage B of histopathology training, you’ll be eligible to specialise further. 

How long will it take?

If you’re training full-time, training to be a consultant paediatric and perinatal pathologist takes a maximum of five-and-a-half years. The first two to two-and-a-half years are spent doing histopathology. You will then spend around three years training in paediatric and perinatal pathology.

There might be opportunities to extend your training, by undertaking research or out-of-programme training.

What will my training cover?

There are four stages of training for perinatal pathology: A, B, C and D.

In stages A and B you’ll be following the standard histopathology curriculum, gaining experience cutting up specimens, writing reports (including on autopsies) and conducting basic screening. You’ll also benefit from short, practical introductions to all the sub-specialties. 

At stage C, the curriculum focuses more on your ability to practice paediatric and perinatal pathology at consultant level. This will include conducting cutting up and reporting on paediatric histopathology specimens, referring for specialist and second opinion, and demonstrating your ability to manage time and prioritise tasks.

In Stage D, you’ll work even more independently, gaining experience of teaching trainees, involvement with multi-disciplinary teams, and getting an opportunity to explore more specialist areas and in-depth reporting.

Find out more about specialty training in paediatric and perinatal pathology.

What exams will I need to take?

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

  • Histopathology Stage A examination – this will test your competency and aptitude for further training in the specialty and is normally taken in the first year of Histopathology training.
  • 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 Paediatric Pathology – 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.