Each year, the College runs an Art of Pathology competition, where people of all ages can submit paintings, drawings, sculptures, digital art, collages or any other media on a specific theme. This year’s theme was ‘Pathologists and Patients’, which was also the theme for this year's National Pathology Week (19–25 June). Participants were invited to interpret this theme in their own unique and creative way, while exploring different aspects of pathology. We provided some ideas and useful links below for those for whom pathology is a new topic.
The competition is open to UK and international entrants of all ages. There are 3 categories for entries: under 11s, 11–17 and adults (over 18s). The judges of the Art of Pathology Competition are College Fellows, Dr Sarah Coupland and Dr Shubha Allard.
The Art of Pathology competition is kindly sponsored by Sonic Healthcare UK. £1,000 will be awarded to the winners of the over 18 and 11–17 categories. For the under 11s category, the winner will receive £500 and another £500 will be awarded to their school. There will also be 2 runners up prizes in each category. In the under-11 category, the runners up will receive £250, with an additional £250 awarded to their school. The runners up in the 11–17 and adult categories will receive £500.
The winning entries will be published on the RCPath website and featured in the College magazine, The Bulletin. The winning artworks will be exhibited in the College Members’ Room, with a reception sponsored by Sonic Healthcare UK. The artwork will also be used by Sonic Healthcare UK to support their recruitment campaigns and Sonic Healthcare UK may use images on their website and other promotional collateral. Scroll down to see the winning entries from this year and from 2019–2022.
About our sponsor: Sonic Healthcare UK
The Art of Pathology competition’s sponsor, , are leaders in consultant-led diagnostics, innovation, value, and long-term investment in healthcare provision. They have over 30 years’ experience in the UK pathology market and have been working in partnership with the NHS for over 20 years.
Sonic Healthcare UK, which incorporates the TDL Group of laboratories and services, is part of the Sonic Healthcare group, one of the world’s largest clinical diagnostics groups with a demonstrated track record of medical excellence. Find out more at www.sonichealthcare.co.uk.
"Hippocrates said ‘Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity’. In line with its company values of clinically led patient-centred pathology Sonic Healthcare UK is proud to sponsor the RCPath Art of Pathology competition. We believe this popular competition reflects both diagnostic science and an individual’s artistic vision of healthcare…whatever their age." – Dr Rachael Liebmann OBE, College Fellow and Group Medical Director of Sonic Healthcare UK
Terms and conditions
Please read the Terms and Conditions document below for more information about the competition.
Entrants are encouraged to consider the following questions to use as inspiration for their artwork.
- What is pathology? This page provides an overview of pathology and includes a short video.
- How do pathologists look after your health?
- Did you know that there are 17 different specialties within pathology? You can explore one or more of these specialities when creating your artwork, or look at pathology as a whole. Visit our careers pages for more information.
- A history of pathology in 50 objects
- Video: Discussing histopathology - past, present future
- Check out our previous Book Club events
- Listen to our Pathologists in Profile podcast
- Visit the Science Museum's Medicine page
- Viruses and Vaccines activities pack – explore the fascinating world of viruses, and understand more about the science behind COVID-19, immunity and vaccines.
- Our YouTube channel and Public Engagement videos
- Meet the Experts
Over 18 Category
Winner: 'The Wearer of Many Hats' by Helen Kalirai (UK)
This painting and its title were inspired by ever evolving roles undertaken by Pathologists in the study of disease. It creates an image that draws on the beauty of histopathology, interweaved with cutting edge molecular genetics in prognosis and as companion diagnostics for treatment decisions, and the hands of the Royal College of Pathologists that are key in supporting and developing the next generation of pathologists.
Runner up: 'The Saviour' by Ro’a Azzam (Egypt)
I asked a pathology professor how he sees pathology and he told me that to him pathology is like a lifeline that saves a patient from an ocean of diseases. As an artist and a medical student, histopathology stood out for me. The details and the stains create an artwork that pathologists can somehow interpret into a diagnosis. I wanted to turn this admiration into an art piece.
Runner up: 'The Lives We Hold' by Meredith Herman (United States)
Our tiniest life forms—cells and DNA—are held by the most caring, competent pathologists and laboratory professionals. Pathologists see patients through a high-power lens and advanced molecular techniques. Patients have questions; Pathologists find answers.
Their mission: To provide high quality testing for the best level of care people deserve.
Commended entry: 'A shared journey of discovery and understanding' by Tongyu Zheng (United Kingdom)
Similar to the ocean, the world of histopathology is vast. The pathologist plays a pivotal role in navigating through this sea of cells and tissues and guiding the patient to understanding their own body and health.
Commended entry: 'The Patient Behind the Film' by Emma Perkins (Australia)
Inspired by one of the first patients I met as a F1 doctor working on a Haematology ward during the pandemic. A young man, who had noticed an unusual bruise just days before, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Suddenly he found himself in a side room for 28 days receiving an intense cycle of chemotherapy, unable to have any visitors. The relationship between pathologist and patient was vital to help him navigate such an isolating, scary and uncertain time.
Commended entry: 'Blossoming Tissue' by Alexandra MacLachlan (United Kingdom)
Titularly inspired by Blossom the Cow and visually influenced by the technical imagery of pathology: bacterial growth on agar plates; the variation in cell density of immunohistochemistry; and the all-round contradiction and interplay of natural forms and cell structures engaging with the repetitive mechanics and rigid geometry of medical technology.
Commended entry: 'SpeciMen' by Izzy Barratt (United Kingdom)
These characters represent pathologists’ patients cut out from photomicrographs of histopathological sections. The piece suggests the patients are defined by their diseases.
Commended entry: 'The Gut Instinct' by Dr. Adeeba Fathima Valiya Thodiyil (United Kingdom)
A scientist is rowing through the 'swamps' of intestine to understand how environmental influence affects the immunological response through the gut. Looking through microscopy images for experimental project inspired the feeling of rowing through the myriads of anatomical structures in the gut.
Commended entry: 'The Truth-Seeker' by Dr. Shivam Chakraborty
In this painting role of a pathologist in a patient’s life is described. There is an ocean of various diseases depicted by cells belonging to various disease conditions. Few patients are seen drowning in the ocean of diseases asking for help. The pathologist with a boat of books sailing in the ocean with his/her microscope aimed at the horizon for direction(diagnosis) is giving the patients direction, hope. The pathologist here saving the patients from drowning in a maze of various diseases.
Commended entry: '
Pathology shapes people's lives in more ways than we could imagine; it nurtures our elderly back into health, protects our present and ensures a brighter future for our children. It is the bridge between science and medicine, with diligent pathologists ensuring that patients receive accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment.
Winner: 'Pathology from head to toe' by Anjelina Singh (United Kingdom)
Different specialties within pathology look after the entire patient from head to toe. My artwork of a patient’s body illustrates the diseases they may encounter. My love of black-out poetry inspired my background which reveals how pathologists may analyse, process and help patients. Each colour, corresponds to a different career in pathology.
Runner up: 'The Art of Patient Diagnosis' by Amy Elghobashy (United Kingdom)
My entry portrays a microscope, but rather than observing a slide or specimen, it is looking at a full-bodied patient to express the potential numerous diagnoses in any part of the human body. To further link the piece to pathology, the background of the composition is of lung tissue.
Runner up: 'Coarse Focussing on Pathologists' by Mads Heritage (United Kingdom)
Pathologist analysing a sample from their patient to understand and help to diagnose them with a particular disease/infection. Blood sample shows sepsis which has severely effected a close family member and millions worldwide.
Commended entry: 'Beneath the surface' by Immy Clement (United Kingdom)
My artwork shows the different areas of pathology with patients, histology pathologists and more. I included some of the main aspects of pathology such as infections, immunity, toxins, genetics, etc. The NHS is very important and I wanted to show some of the amazing things they do caring for people.
Commended entry: 'Where Pathologists meet Patients' by Abigail Holly Ward (United Kingdom)
The circle consists of H&E stains, each with a unique NHS number. The silhouette of a pathologist in the centre connects each scan, representing how many patients they meet, even if a few cells. The spots in the back is the stain and the text is supposed to mimic cells.
Commended entry: 'Looking through a different lense' by Krisha Bansal (United Kingdom)
My artwork aims to tackle the stereotypical view of pathologists in society. Each lense of the 3D glasses provides a different perspective on the role pathologists play for their patients. Through the red lense one can see the negative clichés associated with the field , such as antisocial behaviour, lack of hands on experience and preference to working with dead patients. On the contrary, the blue lense provides a fresh perspective, demonstrating the key role a pathologist plays in a patient’s treatment pathway. Whilst direct interaction with patients is limited, a pathologist works with them on a ‘100x level’ represented by the cells, DNA and microscope. I hope my artwork will help to spread awareness on just how important pathologists are to medicine.
Commended entry: 'Pathology that crosses boundaries' by Lily Scott (United Kingdom
My drawing demonstrates the interaction between animals, patients and the work of pathologists. The child has a brain tumour and the dog has cancer, both were diagnosed by the pathologist. The pathologist is meeting the dog and the child for the first time.
Under 11s Category
Winner: 'Pathologists and Patients' by Zaid Haris (United Kingdom)
I understood how a patient's journey takes place and how pathologists help solve the problem by identifying what is making the patient ill and what treatment can be given to help them. This gave me the inspiration for the train journey and how at different stations the patient gets the care.
Runner up: 'The Bridge of Pathology' by Anton Rogers (Ireland)
I used pencil and colouring pencils for my artwork. "Pathology is the bridge between science and medicine." My drawing shows the bridge from the science to the medicine and between the pathologist and the patient.
Runner up: 'The Invisible Heroes from the Laboratory' by Saskia Chalanyova (Slovakia)
My picture shows when my cat was sick and we took her to the vet clinic. She had to stay there over night and I was very sad. My aunt who is a biology teacher explained me that veterinary pathologists needs time to do all tests. Using their microscopes they help vets make accurate assesments of animal patients so they can give them the right medicines. Veterinary pathologists are very important and their lab life can be hard with long ours even night and weekend work. They are kind of invisible heroes who helps save our animal friends. I got my own microscope for my 6th birthday and I want to be a scientist when I grow up. And I also want to be an artist in my free time.
Commended entry: 'Path of Success' by Sofia Alam (United Kingdom)
My artwork presents the shared connection between the pathologist and the solution for many diseases. It shows how a single life can change by the help of pathology and patients can overcome their fears by the help of modern medications, my drawing celebrates the importance of pathologists and NHS members who work tirelessly to find a cure for the hopeless patients..
Commended entry: 'Pathology through the Looking Glass' by Kitty Clement (United Kingdom)
I was inspired by tissue stains and the variety of patterns that can be found in them. Not only were they interesting to look at but they were also really beautiful. My patient is displaying some of the places that these mesmerising patterns can be located such as, Neuronal Tissue coating the spinal cord.
Researching and looking into Pathology has made me think about having pathology as a career later on in life...