The Art of Pathology competition 2024 is now open! Email your entry to [email protected] by 23:59 on 30 August 2024. 

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 is ‘The Science Behind the Cure’. Participants are invited to interpret this theme in their own unique and creative way, while exploring different aspects of pathology. The research and science involved in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease underpins pathology practice and we will welcome entries that convey this and the fascinating and essential work of pathologists and clinical scientists. We have 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 working in a number of specialty areas. 


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 BulletinThe 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 2019–2023.

About our sponsor: Sonic Healthcare UK

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The Art of Pathology competition’s sponsor, Sonic Healthcare UK, 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 has been at the forefront of COVID-19 testing for the UK since the disease first emerged. The team has developed new testing methods, worked closely with hospitals, helped others open their own labs, and by the end of September 2020 was processing more than 10,000 PCR tests a day. 

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

"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. 

Need inspiration?

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.


2023 winners

Over 18 Category 

Winner: 'The Wearer of Many Hats' by Helen Kalirai (UK)

An oil painting that explores the theme of pathology and patients
The painting is oil paint on canvas built up over several months. The canvas is 50 x 80 cm

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)

25. Runner up - The Savior.jpg
Digital artwork using a drawing tablet and a drawing software with some collages from histopathology slides

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)

24. Runner Up.jpg
Oil on canvas, 18”x24”

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)

92. Commended A shared journey of discovery and understanding.jpg
This is a digital art piece made using Adobe Fresco. Everything is hand drawn using an iPad and stylus.

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)

53. Commended The Patient Behind the Film.jpg
Watercolour paints and fine liner pens

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)

42. Commended Blossoming Tissue.jpg
A digital mosaic taken from a handmade, multimedia, A5 artist’s book that compiles textures of tissue paper, coloured paper, observational graphite drawings of crushed tissue paper, watercolours and ink.

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)

39. SpeciMen.jpg
Cut out photomicrographs

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)

38. commended The gut instinct.jpg
Fluorescence microscopy image of mouse intestine counterstained for nucleus and actin is painted upon with a hand drawn picture of a person rowing in a boat, drawn in procreate app on ipad.  

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

29. Commended The truth seeker.jpg
Acrylic and permanent marker on paper.

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.

11–17 Category

Winner: 'Pathology from head to toe' by Anjelina Singh (United Kingdom) 

104. Winner Pathology from head to toe.jpg
Freehand coloured drawing of the body. The digital words were taken from text from the Royal College of Pathologists passage on 17 careers.

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)

33. The Art of Patient Diagnosis.jpg
To create the piece, I mainly used coloured pencil, but small details such as highlights were added with acrylic marker on top. For the patient, I used a regular ink pen to give a 2D look.

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)

17. Runner up Coarse Focussing on Pathologists.jpg
Blood sample in acrylic paint; pathogens in sand and acrylic paint; pathologist in coloured pencils; lab coat, microscope and pathology-associated words in graphite pencils.

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)

68. Commended Beneath the Surface (2).jpg
Firstly I used pencil to sketch my design, then I used a mix of watercolour and acrylic paint. To finish I added in some extra details with coloured pencils.

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)

54. Commended Where Pathologists meet Patients.jpg
The background of the stains is watercolour with acrylic paint on top to enhance certain areas. The text and silhouette are acrylic paint. The background is watercolour as well.

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)

8.commended Looking through a different lense.jpg
Coloured pencil and a sketching pencil

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

1. Pathology that crosses boundaries.jpg

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)

66. WinnerPathologists and Patients.jpg
I have used felt-tip pens for colouring and drawing.

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)

90. Runner upThe Bridge of Pathology.jpg
Coloured pencils

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)

7. commended The invisible heroes from the laboratory.jpg
I used children wax crayons for my artwork because they taught me to use it in art school and I like it.

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)

100. commended Path of Success.jpg
I used blending techniques to create shadings and 3D effect, i also used colourful felt tips to illustrate and outline the products.

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)

30a. commended Pathology Through The Looking Glass.jpg
My art is a sort of collage of many different tissue stains  and I have stuck them to the body and labelled part where I have attached them. I have also sketched a brief structure of the skeleton and major organs in the middle.

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...

Please note, any personal data collected in this competition will be kept only for the duration of the competition to notify winners, to send back art entries and to pay winners. All information will be kept in compliance with the College’s privacy policy

Browse our site for ideas and to learn more about the science behind the cure.