The training requirements of the individual pathology subjects within laboratory medicine are changing rapidly and there is a trend to earlier specialization. A new training scheme based on a system of 10 modules, each of six months' duration, is suggested. Six of the modules comprise obligatory specialist training while the remaining four provide an element of choice both in subject matter and timing. This allows the advantages of multidisciplinary training to be retained, despite earlier specialization, since the subjects studied need not necessarily be restricted to the traditional pathology disciplines. The system allows 20% of training time to be devoted to full-time research and has been designed to be attractive to trainees in general medicine. Modular training provides an inherently flexible system which can readily be adapted to future developments in pathology and medicine.
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