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Pathology Training

Pathology Training

Pathology Training

Your Pathway into Pathology Training training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

Total Training Time

Total: 5 years (full-time)

How To Apply

In QLD appointments for Pathology training are managed centrally through the Queensland Pathology Training Program and are coordinated by the Medical Support Unit, Pathology Queensland in conjunction with Pathology Queensland's State Directors and Coordinators of Education and Training.     

Applications to the network are made through the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Campaign where applicants can preference discipline/sub-specialty from the below:

  • Anatomical Pathology (including Forensic Pathology)
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Genetic Pathology
  • General Pathology
  • Immunopathology
  • Microbiology

Information on how to preference can be found here.

Facilities cannot be preferenced for Pathology training. Applicants must be willing to rotate across various public and private facilities to meet training requirements and maximum exposure to training opportunities. In North Queensland there are accredited training laboratories in the Townsville Hospital and Cairns Hospital.

Once a position has been secured, applicants must complete an initial registration application form and submit this to the College along with a signed copy of their prospective training program.  See the RCPA for further details.         

Application Deadline

All the key dates for application submission, assessment and selection rounds are available on the Queensland Health Recruitment Campaign website for application through the RMO campaign.

Once the campaign closes, only your preferred facilities or training programs can access your online application and attachments to assess and conduct meritorious recruitment activities. The facility or training program may contact candidates to discuss applications, employment opportunities or organise interviews.

Each specialty training college has different application dates so ensure you refer to the individual website for information. Consider these dates in conjunction with the RMO campaign key dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect as a Pathology trainee?

Pathology training provides trainees with the opportunity to learn about the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Pathologists use a variety of techniques to examine tissues and organs to determine the cause of disease. They also use microscopic and molecular techniques to examine cells and molecules to better understand the mechanisms of disease.

Trainee Pathologists will experience both work-based learning and assessments across the four general functions of pathologists:

  1. Discipline specific functions as a medical specialist in a lab.
  2. Functions as a manager in the laboratory.
  3. Research and scholarship.
  4. Other professional attributes.

Pathologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and research institutions. They may also work in private practice or as consultants.

What does a Pathologist do?

Pathology is speciality within wider medicine that researches the nature and cause of diseases. Pathology is the foundation of every aspect of medicine and underpins all information to do with diagnostic testing, all the way from cutting-edge genetic research to blood transfusion technology. A little-known fact is that Pathology is responsible for the precise diagnosis of every cancer currently known.

A Pathologist is a specialist medical researcher and practitioner that studies the cause of disease and the ways in which diseases affect the human body. Pathologists monitor changes in the tissues, blood, and other bodily fluids to identify the impacts of disease and tailor treatment.

The treating doctors that the public come face to face communicate the findings of the Pathologist working behind the scenes. Answers to glaring questions from blood tests, strange lumps, or other symptoms are often provided with the help of a Pathologist. Pathologists will sometime see patients, and take an active role in care, but the majority will work out of the public eye.

What abilities are important for Pathology Training?

Pathologists need strong abilities in several areas.

They must be able to effectively communicate with other members of the healthcare team, as well as with patients and their families.

Pathology medical professionals must also have excellent organisational skills, as they are responsible for coordinating care and managing patient records. Additionally, they should have a strong understanding of Pathology and be able to use this knowledge to provide accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Finally, Pathologists must be able to maintain a high level of accuracy and attention to detail in their work.

How many applicants get into Pathology training each year?

Each year, the number of applicants admitted into Pathology training programs varies by discipline/sub-specialty. For example, in 2021, 6 applicants were selected to commence Anatomical Pathology training in QLD from 29 eligible applications. For Chemical Pathology only 1 applicant was selected for the QLD training program from 3 eligible applications.

What is it like living in North Queensland?

There are countless reasons why North Queensland is a great place for everyone to live, work and study. The region has a warm climate all year round, beautiful beaches and rainforests, and is home to a diverse range of cultures and lifestyles.

The North Queensland lifestyle is relaxed and laid-back, and the people are friendly and welcoming. Living and working in Northern Queensland offers a great balance for everyone, at any stage or any age. For those who like the outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities for activities such as swimming, surfing, fishing, and hiking, and there are also many bars, restaurants, and cafes to enjoy.

North Queensland boasts the convenience of cities close by, alongside reasonable housing costs and vast nearby landscapes to explore. The region has a well-balanced mix of quality education and a relaxed or adventurous lifestyle to best suit your preference. Simply put, Northern Queensland is hard to beat. 

Networking and industry social opportunities are common within the tightknit health and hospital communities. By addressing the shortage of doctors in North Queensland, we will achieve our vision of improving the health of communities in the region. This is a passion that unites the students, interns, junior doctors, and specialists training and working here. 

Training occurs within a wide range of hospital and health settings in the region, all of which are of varying sizes and capabilities. Our training region ensures trainees have access to a diverse case load and case mix. These training areas include the following health service areas: Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.



Disclaimer: The information provided on this website aims to assist medical students and doctors in training with medical career planning. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is current and accurate, all details should be verified through the relevant Specialist College.

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424