A study of the UK’s pathologists, carried out by a scientist at the University of Liverpool on behalf of the Department of Health and the Royal College of Pathologists, has sparked concern over the numbers leaving the profession – particularly in academia.
Pathologists are skilled scientists whose role is to identify the nature, origin and process of a disease. Professor Christopher Foster from the University’s School of Cancer Studies carried out the audit of academic pathologists working in the UK and found that the number of academic pathologists has decreased by 40% in the past year alone. His research also indicated a decline in the number of UK students – both in science and medicine - choosing to enter the profession.
The Department of Health has responded to the study by establishing new clinical roles and lecturing posts to fill the void left by the drop in practicing pathologists in the UK. In addition, cancer research charities are helping to set up new centres of cancer pathology training to recruit pathologists focused on cancer research.
Joanna Robotham | alfa
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