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The training of future tissue pathologists in a changing world
  1. J A James1,2,
  2. M Salto-Tellez1,2
  1. 1Department of Tissue Pathology, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  2. 2Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jacqueline James and Prof Manuel Salto-Tellez, Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Laboratory, CCRCB, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK; j.james{at}, m.salto-tellez{at}

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What are the challenges for the modern pathologist?

To answer this pivotal question we need to have an understanding of where the future of medicine is as a whole. It is very likely that the future of modern medicine will be dictated by (a) general technological advancement and (b) advancements in molecular medicine. Indeed, translational research has transformed modern clinical practice, ensuring the rapid transfer of molecular biology findings into the clinical setting. This transformation however brings with it a need for change in the way histopathologists practice tissue diagnostics. The diagnostic paradigm for the surgical and cellular pathologist is changing and there is now a growing need for histopathologists to adopt molecular diagnostics and incorporate molecular pathology as a mandatory component into the training of all future histopathologists.1

The demands of a personalised healthcare system are phenomenal, leading to an increased need for histopathology trainees to have experience of specialised therapeutic immunohistochemistry, low and high throughput molecular analyses, pathology bioinformatics, biobanking as well as quantitative digital pathology. Modern histopathologists must also be able to deal with the …

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  • Contributors MS-T conceptualised the editorial and approved the final draft. JJ wrote the first draft.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Funding The Northern Ireland – Molecular Pathology Laboratory receives generous support from Cancer Research UK, the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre network, the Friends of the Cancer Centre, the HSC Research and Development and the the Sean Crummey Memorial Fund.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.