Pathologist Recruitment: Building a Career in the NHS

Pathologist recruitment

Pathology specialists are an essential part of the NHS, and working as a pathology doctor means you’re an essential part of the fight against disease and illness. As experts in pathologist recruitment, we know that without your expertise, correct diagnoses wouldn’t be possible. As the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 showed, this is one of the most important functions of healthcare. 

Pathologists and pathology specialists in the UK have a solid and rewarding career path. Pathology is critical to almost every NHS clinical pathway. Hospitals across the UK typically run over a billion tests a year, with over half a billion biochemistry tests alone. The importance of pathology to the NHS can’t be overstated.

Like in most medical disciplines, there is a shortage of pathologists in the UK. That means there are NHS Pathology vacancies in almost every NHS trust and so pathologist recruitment is vital. Here’s everything you need to know about building a career as an NHS pathology specialist as an International Doctor or IMG.

What does Pathologist Recruitment look like for the NHS?

There are many pathology roles available to doctors in the NHS depending on their level of experience. There are around 17 pathology specialities recognised by the NHS, including smaller fields such as toxins and animal disease. Most NHS pathologist recruitment is across the four most common fields, according to the Royal College of Pathologists:

Haematology: the diagnosis and treatment of blood-based disorders.

Histopathology: which is essential for diagnosis and exclusion of cancer, as well as various post-mortem examinations.

Chemical Pathology: a key component for the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases including diabetes.

Microbiology and Virology: two disciplines that often work alongside one another to manage, track, and study infections and pathogens at a patient and community level.

How do I get a job as an International Pathology Doctor in the UK?

Getting a job as an NHS pathologist has several prerequisites for international doctors and IMGs. Sometimes these vary by location and the level of post. Generally speaking, NHS pathologist recruitment teams will consider candidates for their pathology jobs who meet the following requirements:

-A Fellowship of The Royal College of Pathologists, or FRCPath, postgraduate qualification

-Alternatively, there are routes like PLAB, USMLE, or similar. However, these are considered less prestigious than FRCPath.

-A recognised English language qualification such as OET or IELTS.

-Once the above are in place, the next stage is registration with the General Medical Council (GMC), which is required to practice medicine in the UK.

-Once you’re eligible for GMC registaton, you can start working with Remedium to seek and apply for NHS doctor jobs, as well as arranging necessary documentation to legally live and work in the UK, such as a UK Health and Care Worker Visa

NHS pathologist recruitment teams will only consider doctors who are eligible for GMC registration. Registration with the GMC is essential for any doctor working in the UK, as it’s the regulatory body overseeing all licenced medical practitioners in the UK. Qualifications such as FRCPath or the equivalent are necessary for GMC registration. The above is, of course, on top of relevant experience and education for the role.

Pathologist Recruitment: What is The Royal College of Pathologists and FRCPath?

FRCPath is a postgraduate qualification which means that you are a fellow of The Royal College of Pathologists. This membership body maintains pathology standards and practices across the UK medical profession. Which specific FRCPath examination you take depends on your pathology speciality, and there are 17 separate subspecialty exams offered by The Royal College of Pathologists. These 17 specialities have their own distinct certificate. Some examples include Clinical Biochemistry, Dermatopathology, Haematology, Neuropathology, Immunology, Paediatric Pathology, and Reproductive Science. 

The FRCPath exam is in two parts. The first is two academic exams taken on the same day, and the second is practical (or oral, depending on subspecialty). International Doctors can apply for the FRCPath examination online. The College has multiple examination centres globally, although some practical parts of the examinations can only be sat in the UK.

Why choose the NHS for Pathology?

Haematologists, Histopathologists, Immunobiologists – no matter the specific discipline, pathology doctors are among the most respected and necessary within the NHS. Pathology services are necessary on almost every patient journey, and without the unique expertise of pathologists, it wouldn’t be possible to diagnose or treat most patients. Increased pathologist recruitment in the UK is therefore vital to ensure the NHS can continue providing excellent patient care. 

The NHS has one of the most secure career paths available globally for pathology, helped in no small part by the learning and infrastructure path provided by the various regulatory bodies like the Royal College. Within the NHS you’ll never hit a career plateau, and what’s more, time is allocated for Special Programmed Activity (SPA) like research and additional qualifications. The UK is also one of the most secure, stable, and prosperous places in the world to live and work, especially as a doctor.

Can Remedium help you to navigate Pathologist Recuritment and become a doctor the NHS?

Finding an NHS pathology role is easier than ever for international doctors thanks to Remedium. Our specialist recruitment team are expert in their chosen specialties, including pathologist recruitment, which means that once you register with us, you’ll receive tailored advice according to your job requirements and preferences. Then, once you’re ready to make the move to or around the UK, our experienced onboarding team will support you and your family with all the practical and administrative aspects of your relocation. We have already helped thousands of doctors and IMGs find jobs in the NHS and relocate to the UK. Many of these have been pathology specialists, and there are new NHS pathology vacancies UK-wide sent to us daily.

International doctors choose Remedium because of our dedicated 24/7 support, our consultants’ in-depth knowledge of everything from visas to GMC registration, and our dedication to the experience of the doctors we place. We also help with relocation by way of our award-winning Red Carpet Platform. Register your details with us today to get started – our team of dedicated Remedium pathology recruiters is ready to help you take your first step toward your career as an NHS doctor.

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