A day as a pathologist

You work at your local NHS hospital, and begin at 9am in the laboratory - testing patient samples from local GP surgeries and hospitals. You then see a diabetic patient in your outpatient clinic at 11am, and check his progress against test findings. Since you specialise in chemical pathology, you diagnose diseases in people whose bodies have 'gone wrong', and you're often asked by GPs to examine samples from diabetics. Later, you visit a ward patient who's receiving a food substitute, and check his progress and recovery. You love being part of a healthcare team, and often get to participate in medical research, which contributes to the prevention of disease.

Does this sound like you?

You love science, enjoy laboratory research and are interested in medicine. You can concentrate for long periods of time, enjoy helping others and want to work as part of a team.

What's next after GCSE?

You're likely to need around nine high grade 9-6 (A*-B) GCSE grades (or the equivalent), preferably including science subjects, and be all set to take three A levels (or the equivalent) at college/6th form.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You'll need to apply for a GMC-recognised degree in medicine at university. Getting three very good A level grades (or the equivalent) is a good idea if you're applying for medicine, as this is a very competitive area. It's important to check different university entry requirements as these vary between institutions. After university, you'll then spend several years working and training to specialise in pathology.