The three main aspects of this specialty are diagnostic histopathology, cytopathology and autopsies. Diagnostic histopathology involves making diagnoses based on the microscopic examination of tissues removed during various operative interventions and procedures such as endoscopy, biopsy or resections. The biopsy or surgical specimen is processed and histological sections are placed onto glass slides.

Cytopathology deals with diseases on the cellular level. A common application of cytopathology is the smear test, used to detect precancerous cervical lesions and prevent cervical cancer. A histopathologist also conducts postmortem examination of the body to determine the cause of death (autopsy).

Training Pathway

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Training Level Medical School Intern Year Basic Specialty Training in Histopathology Higher Specialist Training in Histopathology
Duration 4-6 years 1 year 2 years 5 years
Entry Process Graduate or direct entry Entry through the HSE Intern Match Entry based on competitive interview Entry based on competitive interview
Mandatory Examinations As per curriculum N/A N/A FRCPATH
Application Date CAO process opens in November Application process opens in October Application process opens in December Application process open in November
Programme Operated by: Undergraduate Universities Intern Networks RCPI RCPI

The Higher Specialist Training Programme in Histopathology is administered by the Faculty of Pathology, RCPI.

Please click below for detailed information on each level of postgraduate training:

Basic Specialty Training in Histopathology

Higher Specialty Training in Histopathology





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