Categories of membership
There are several different types of membership at the college which come under the following categories:
Individuals are eligible for Fellowship on passing the FRCPath examination in their specialty. Fellows are entitled, subject to their financial subscription being paid, to use the FRCPath post nominals, stand for College Council and other offices, vote in the affairs of the College and receive College mailings.
Pathologists are eligible to apply for Fellowship on the basis of Published Works and must:
- submit at least 30 peer-reviewed publications, which may include review articles
- be first or senior author on a minimum of 10 papers
- have a minimum of five years in pathology if medically qualified or eight years if non-medical
- demonstrate a developing and sustained contribution to at least one clearly defined theme
- demonstrate a continued substantial high quality contribution to research and practice within the discipline.
Fellows are entitled, subject to their financial subscription being paid, to use the FRCPath post nominals, stand for College Council and other offices, vote in the affairs of the College and receive College mailings.
Distinguished medical practitioners or distinguished scientists may be invited by Council to become Fellows. Admission to fellowship under this route shall not be used as an alternative to fellowship by examination or published works for whom one of these would be appropriate.
Fellows by election shall be entitled, subject to their financial subscription being paid, to use the FRCPath post nominals, stand for College Council and other offices, vote in the affairs of the College and receive College mailings.
Council may nominate people for honorary fellowship, whether medically qualified or not, who have made notable contributions to pathology, and other persons who have shown distinction of a nature fit to be recognised by the College, for proposal to and approval at a General Meeting. The College is limited to having no more than 75 Honorary Fellows at any time. See details of the College's Honorary Fellows here.
Honorary Fellows may use the FRCPath post nominals and will receive College mailings. Honorary Fellows are not eligible to stand for College Council and other offices or to vote in the affairs of the College.
Diplomate membership is awarded to those who have passed the College's specialist Diploma examinations in Dermatopathology, Forensic Pathology or any other specialist Diplomas which the College may introduce. Diplomates are entitled, subject to their financial subscription being paid, to use the DipRCPath post nominals and receive College mailings. Diplomates are not eligible to stand for College Council and other offices or to vote in the affairs of the College.
Associate membership is awarded on passing the College's Part 1 examination. Associates will receive College mailings. Associates do not have the right to use any post nominals, vote in College affairs or stand for College office (unless they are a trainee in which case they can stand for the Trainees Advisory Committee or be a trainee representative on other College committees).
Affiliate membership is open to anyone who wishes to be linked with the activities of the College. Examples of those who may wish to affiliate include: clinical scientists, research academics, biomedical scientists, and members of specialist societies. This list is not exhaustive; others working in a pathology discipline may wish to affiliate, and will be welcome to do so, including overseas-qualified pathologists working in the UK.
Please note: those persons who would be eligible for another category of membership (Fellowship, Diplomateship or Associateship) are not eligible for Affiliate membership.
Affiliates receive the College Bulletin. UK-based medically qualified pathologists, research academics, and scientists in career grade positions (grade B or C or AfC >=7) not actively involved in completing their training for the FRCPath will be eligible to participate in the College's Continuing Professional Development scheme. Affiliates do not have the right to use any post nominals, vote in College affairs or stand for College office.
The retired category of membership is open to those who have retired completely from remunerative employment and who were previously a member of another membership category (except Affiliate). Those members who were Fellows or Diplomates before retirement are entitled to continue using the FRCPath or DipRCPath post nominals respectively. Retired members can opt to pay a reduced subscription and continue to receive College mailings, and those who previously held the status of Fellow will, subject to the payment of the reduced subscription, be entitled to attend and vote at a General Meeting and to vote in Honorary Officer elections.
This membership category is open to all undergraduates in a relevant subject, and demonstrates the College’s commitment to supporting and engaging students throughout their undergraduate careers. Students can join the College as undergraduate members for the entire length of their course, and are encouraged to become involved with the College year-round.
Benefits include a dedicated undergraduate area of the College website with information about careers in all the specialties. Undergraduate members also have exclusive access to a series of prizes and awards.
Student members will receive regular e-newsletters and will be invited to attend exclusive events in medical schools around the country. They will be invited to participate in public engagement events and will be entitled to attend College science communication training.
Undergraduates who join the College scheme are eligible for reciprocal membership of the medical student membership schemes of the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland and the British Society for Haematology. It is hoped that more specialist societies will join in the future.
At the moment, the scheme is only open to students studying in the UK and Republic of Ireland, but we are considering opening the scheme to international students.
Eventually, it is planned that the College will offer bursaries for students undertaking pathology-related electives or research. Members and specialist societies may wish to consider sponsoring a bursary, either as a one-off or annual award.
As well as aiming to make the Pathology Summer School an annual event, it is hoped that meetings for all student members will be held throughout the year.
I am a Consultant in Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Medicine in Carlisle, England. My clinical role includes disorders of lipid metabolism, obesity, nutrition support, renal stone and bone disease. My laboratory interests are reference intervals, performance of clinical decision limits and the impact of biological variation on disease monitoring.
I became fascinated with Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Medicine during Core Medical Training after a placement in the Metabolic Medicine and Clinical Biochemistry Department at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
I undertook specialty training in Yorkshire and researched Reference Intervals for my FRCPath dissertation.
I love the specialty because of the interaction with a wide range of professionals including GPs and scientists which is essential for patient care. Additionally, the specialty lends itself to the adoption of new technology and innovation which is exciting.
Becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists was a career highlight for me. I hope to inspire the next generation of pathologists.