National Pathology Week (NPW) is our annual celebration of pathology, when we highlight the important contribution pathologists make to healthcare. Working in partnership with pathologists and laboratory scientists across the UK, our programme of events and activities aims to engage people of all ages, and improve public awareness and understanding of how pathologists and scientists diagnose disease. 

We welcome pathology-related events and activities of all sizes, and various formats (including online!), in our nationwide programme – we’ve got lots of ideas and free resources to help with planning and delivering great activities.

National Pathology Week 2020

NPW 2020 will run from 2 to 8 November and will include a wide range of events and activities run by the College team, and our members and supporters, reaching diverse audiences across the UK and beyond. All College-led events and activities will be online this year due to COVID-19. Download our e-flyers below and help spread the word about our online events. 

NPW e-flyers

Pathology: at the heart of healthcare

For NPW 2020 we’re inviting our members and supporters to consider exploring the theme ‘Pathology: at the heart of healthcare’ with their events, activities and online posts. 

We’d like to see event organisers use their imagination and interpret this theme in lots of diverse ways, from all of the ways pathology teams help look after our heart-health, to the essential role of pathology at the heart of healthcare.

Exploring the heart of healthcare

We've worked with scientist-turned-artist, Dr Lizzie Burns to create some new downloadable resources all about the heart and heart health, and there are more ideas below about how to interpret this theme more broadly, whatever pathology specialty you're interested in.

College-led virtual events

All of the NPW 2020 events being run by the College team will be held online. Information on how to book and exact timings will be shared on our public events page and/or social media channels. 

2 November

  • Heart-themed art science origami workshops with Dr Lizzie Burns: Lizzie will lead three online sessions for school students on her YouTube channel. Students will fold their own origami 'beating heart' as well discover more about the heart via our free 'Heart of Healthcare' resources. Teachers who live-stream the event for their students will also show them a recording of Lizzie discussing the heart and heart disease with histopathologist, Dr Esther Youd. Timings will be 11.30am, 1.30pm and 4.30pm GMT. 
  • 'Meet the Presidents' webinar: This unique online event offers the chance for RCPath members, Foundation doctors, students and anyone with an interest in pathology to hear our President, Professor Jo Martin and our President-elect Dr Mike Osborn 'in conversation' about their careers and their thoughts on what 'pathology at the heart of healthcare' means to them. A guest host will lead the discussions and take questions from attendees, who will be able to enjoy this special National Pathology Week launch event from the comfort of their own home. 

3 November

  • RCPath Book Club Event: Join us to discuss 'The Pandemic Century: A History of Global Contagion from the Spanish Flu to Covid-19' with author Mark Honigsbaum. You don't need to have read the book to take part. The event will be chair by healthcare scientist and science communicator, Kip Heath, and our panel is made up of virologist Prof. Will Irving, journalist Anjana Ahuja and immunologist Dr Shuayb Elkhalifa. Following a reading from the book by Mark, we'll find out what our expert panel think of the book and discuss some of the key themes and ideas. Find out more and register for the event. Event times: 6pm-7.30pm GMT. 

4 November

  • 'Meet the pathologists'/ 'Meet the scientists' careers talks for schools: RCPath members who have been trained in public engagement by a team at the Science Museum will deliver short interactive careers talks on Zoom for secondary school students (aged 13 to 18). Two or three RCPath members will speak at each event and there will be four sessions on Wednesdays throughout November. Places can be booked by teachers or students. Some sessions will be run after NPW - all dates and times are on the Eventbrite page

5 November

  • Pathology-themed Virtual Pub Quiz for medical/ biomedical undergraduates: Teams of up to six undergraduates studying medicine or biomedical science can take part in our National Pathology Week online quiz event. With a range of questions gathered from RCPath members who work in 16 different specialty areas, the event gives undergraduates the chance to test their knowledge of disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Undergraduates studying relevant degree courses can sign up for this free event on the booking page. Event times are 7-8.30pm GMT.

6 November

  • Pathology-themed Virtual Pub Quiz for veterinary science undergraduates: Teams of up to six undergraduates studying veterinary science (or similar) can take part in our National Pathology Week online quiz event. With a range of questions gathered from RCPath members who work in the various areas of veterinary pathology, the event gives undergraduates the chance to test their knowledge of animal disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Undergraduates studying relevant degree courses can sign up for this free event on the booking page. Event times are 7-8.30pm GMT.

7 November

  • Heart-themed art science origami workshop with Dr Lizzie Burns: Science-based artist, Dr Lizzie Burns will lead an online origami workshop for families via Zoom. Young and old are being encouraged to join and try out folding their own origami 'beating heart'. We will share a recording of Lizzie discussing the heart and heart disease with histopathologist, Dr Esther Youd, as part of this session. Attendees will also be encouraged to use our full range of heart resources before and after the event. 

Pathology: at the heart of Healthcare

Our 2020 theme, 'Pathology: at the heart of healthcare.' offers a chance to shine a spotlight on careers in pathology to students and foundation doctors, and to demonstrate its key role in medicine and health. We hope members will use our careers content and careers videos to increase visibility of pathology to the next generation of pathologists and clinical scientists.

We have made the theme of our Art of Pathology Competition the same and there are lots of ideas of how you can interpret 'at the heart of healthcare' on the competition page. We will also be sharing the winning entries on our website and social media channels so look out for those if you need inspiration!

There are many ways to get involved, whatever pathology specialty you work in. Get in touch if you would like to discuss any initial plans with us. 

If you’ve already got an event in mind and you’re not sure how to link it to our 2020 theme, that’s no problem – tying in with the theme is entirely optional! As long as your event or activity has a link to pathology in some way we will welcome it into the programme. 

Watch this space...

We will soon be adding exciting new activity packs, a guide about how to run online events, and new-look promotional materials to our resources area. We will also be creating lots of online content to reach a range of audiences this November. So watch this space and keep an eye out for #pathologyweek updates on @RCPath

NPW 2019 - a look back

For NPW 2019 we invited our members and supporters to consider exploring innovations big and small with their events, activities and online posts. Below are just a few of the highlights and you can see more by searching #pathologyweek on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Hands-on activity videos 

To support our popular written activity resource packs, we produced a range of short hands-on activity videos, which explain how to run quick and easy practical activities. Launched a few weeks before NPW, we hope the new set of visual guides inspired lots of interactive engagement amongst our members and other event organisers. Useful any time of the year for those who want to run something easy but engaging with families, schools or other mixed audiences, the five videos, along with accompanying written resources, can all be found in our activities and resources area and on our YouTube channel.   

Launch of Disease Detectives cub scouts activity pack

At the start of National Pathology Week 2019, we launched a brand new pathology-themed resource pack suitable for beaver and Cub Scouts and children aged 6 and up. Developed in partnership with the Northern Ireland Scout Association and Cub Scout leader and Consultant Clinical Scientist, Dr Derek McKillop FRCPath, the Disease Detectives activity pack aims to assist Cub Scout leaders to complete the Health and Science criteria of various badges. 

Some of the team-based games and table-top practical activities from the pack were run with a group of 30 Cubs at a lively launch event at Belfast’s W5 venue on 2 November. The College's Vice-President for Communications, Dr Rachael Liebmann FRCPath, opened the event and a number of RCPath Fellows and trainees, along with some Cub Scout leaders volunteered their time to deliver the activities.

Incredible You - exploring pathology through art at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford

Science-based artist and creator of our hugely popular Incredible You resources facilitated a pathology-themed colouring in session with the help of three RCPath members at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford on 7 November. Run in collaboration with Artlink and the Oxford Hospitals Charity, the session offered hospital staff, patients and visitors a relaxing way to learn more about pathology through colouring in one of Lizzie's illustrations while chatting with pathologists and scientists about their work. 

Discover Pathology Careers

Discover Pathology Careers, held at the RCPath building in London on 9 November, introduced an audience of school students, undergraduates and Foundation Doctors to both human and veterinary pathology specialties. Interactive talks and semi-structured networking sessions, involving around 20 College members, highlighted the diversity of roles and areas of work in pathology, across human and animal health.

Discussing at-home genetics test kits - an interactive talk by Professor Jo Martin

Filmed in front of a live audience at Centre of the Cell's amazing 'Neuron Pod' venue, this 'TED-style' talk by the RCPath President, Professor Jo Martin, explored some of the issues with at-home genetic testing kits. The online video of the event talk was launched online during National Pathology Week. Watch 'At-home genetic testing: helpful or harmful?', including the Q&A session, on our YouTube channel.

New video - veterinary pathology careers interview launched 

We released the next in the series of our popular careers interviews during National Pathology Week 2019 and this time we shone the spotlight on veterinary pathologist Alex Civello. Alex talks about his day to day work, how he progressed into his current role at Cytopath in Ledbury, Herefordshire, and what he loves about his work. We shared the video with those who attended the veterinary pathology sessions at our Discover Pathology Careers event and will continue to share the full interview, the 30-second teaser and the six-minute version as widely as possible online.