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Survey of UK histopathology consultants' attitudes towards academic and molecular pathology

Survey of UK histopathology consultants' attitudes towards academic and molecular pathology
Survey of UK histopathology consultants' attitudes towards academic and molecular pathology

Objective: Academic pathology is facing a crisis; an ongoing decline in academic pathology posts, a paucity of academic pathologist's in-training and unfilled posts at a time when cellular pathology departments are challenged to deliver increasing numbers of molecular tests. The National Cancer Research Institute initiative in Cellular & Molecular Pathology commissioned a survey to assess attitudes of cellular pathology consultants towards research in order to understand barriers and identify possible solutions to improve this situation. As cellular pathology is encompassing an increasing number of diagnostic molecular tests, we also surveyed the current approach to and extent of training in molecular pathology. Methods: The survey was distributed to all UK-based consultant pathologists via the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland and Royal College of Pathologist networks. Heads of Department were contacted separately to obtain figures for number of academic training and consultant posts. Results: 302 cellular pathologists completed the survey which represents approximately 21% of the total cellular histopathology workforce. Most respondents (89%) had been involved in research at some point; currently, 22% were undertaking research formally, and 41% on an informal basis. Of those previously involved in research, 57% stopped early in their consultant career. The majority of substantive academic posts were Professors of which 60% had been in post for >20 years. Most respondents (84%) used molecular pathology in diagnostic work, independent of where they worked or the length of time in post. Notably, 53% of consultants had not received molecular pathology training, particularly more senior consultants and consultants in district general hospitals. Conclusions: The survey reveals that the academic workforce is skewed towards senior individuals, many of whom are approaching retirement, with a missing cohort of â € junior consultant' academic pathologists to replace them. Most pathologists stop formal research activity at the beginning of a consultant career. While molecular pathology is an increasing part of a pathologist's workload, the majority of consultant cellular pathologists have not received any formal molecular training.

academic pathology, molecular pathology, workforce
0021-9746
1-7
Brockmoeller, Scarlet
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Young, Caroline
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Lee, Jessica
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Arends, Mark J.
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Wilkins, Bridget S.
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Thomas, Gareth J.
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Oien, Karin A.
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Jones, Louise
68ce5626-a7bb-4856-93f3-77502a235d5e
Hunter, Keith D.
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Brockmoeller, Scarlet
d983dd75-1b72-4a59-a55c-b6e1f6b6caeb
Young, Caroline
1130f937-8c1d-4fba-9b2b-0488881dc384
Lee, Jessica
0c9ab325-5fa3-4155-b61e-11c82a9a4e82
Arends, Mark J.
b4ecb1b5-d0c7-4c5f-ba0c-621137cc7734
Wilkins, Bridget S.
eb7a2bdd-ea12-49a0-9a80-cfe841f1189e
Thomas, Gareth J.
2ff54aa9-a766-416b-91ee-cf1c5be74106
Oien, Karin A.
e7577158-717e-42e4-b144-460763bbdc38
Jones, Louise
68ce5626-a7bb-4856-93f3-77502a235d5e
Hunter, Keith D.
25192a76-4be3-40c0-aa5d-04a7f5e3d2af

Brockmoeller, Scarlet, Young, Caroline, Lee, Jessica, Arends, Mark J., Wilkins, Bridget S., Thomas, Gareth J., Oien, Karin A., Jones, Louise and Hunter, Keith D. (2019) Survey of UK histopathology consultants' attitudes towards academic and molecular pathology. Journal of Clinical Pathology, 1-7. (doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205568).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: Academic pathology is facing a crisis; an ongoing decline in academic pathology posts, a paucity of academic pathologist's in-training and unfilled posts at a time when cellular pathology departments are challenged to deliver increasing numbers of molecular tests. The National Cancer Research Institute initiative in Cellular & Molecular Pathology commissioned a survey to assess attitudes of cellular pathology consultants towards research in order to understand barriers and identify possible solutions to improve this situation. As cellular pathology is encompassing an increasing number of diagnostic molecular tests, we also surveyed the current approach to and extent of training in molecular pathology. Methods: The survey was distributed to all UK-based consultant pathologists via the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland and Royal College of Pathologist networks. Heads of Department were contacted separately to obtain figures for number of academic training and consultant posts. Results: 302 cellular pathologists completed the survey which represents approximately 21% of the total cellular histopathology workforce. Most respondents (89%) had been involved in research at some point; currently, 22% were undertaking research formally, and 41% on an informal basis. Of those previously involved in research, 57% stopped early in their consultant career. The majority of substantive academic posts were Professors of which 60% had been in post for >20 years. Most respondents (84%) used molecular pathology in diagnostic work, independent of where they worked or the length of time in post. Notably, 53% of consultants had not received molecular pathology training, particularly more senior consultants and consultants in district general hospitals. Conclusions: The survey reveals that the academic workforce is skewed towards senior individuals, many of whom are approaching retirement, with a missing cohort of â € junior consultant' academic pathologists to replace them. Most pathologists stop formal research activity at the beginning of a consultant career. While molecular pathology is an increasing part of a pathologist's workload, the majority of consultant cellular pathologists have not received any formal molecular training.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 February 2019
Published date: 25 March 2019
Keywords: academic pathology, molecular pathology, workforce

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Local EPrints ID: 430119
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430119
ISSN: 0021-9746
PURE UUID: f6c68c0e-00a2-43a7-92df-cfd28b906d38

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Date deposited: 12 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 16:36

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Contributors

Author: Scarlet Brockmoeller
Author: Caroline Young
Author: Jessica Lee
Author: Mark J. Arends
Author: Bridget S. Wilkins
Author: Karin A. Oien
Author: Louise Jones
Author: Keith D. Hunter

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