Specialist Training in Histopathology in Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) is based on the Core Training Programme of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) and is directed by the Severn Histopathology Specialist Training Committee that includes the Regional Programme Director (currently Dr Muhammed Sohail who is also Chairman of this committee), Dr Kim Jacobson, Head of the Postgraduate School of Pathology, the Postgraduate Dean (or representative)and the Educational Supervisors from each training hospital. In keeping with the aims of the Core Training Programme of the Royal College of Pathologists, specialist training in Histopathology in Severn PGME includes:

(a)  Exposure to all aspects of diagnostic histopathology and cytopathology in the laboratory and post mortem room.

(b)   Structured training including regional teaching which is delivered on a monthly basis (10 days per annum). Teaching is primarily organ-specific and includes aspects of diagnostic histopathology, cytopathology, autopsy pathology and molecular pathology. Regional Teaching comprises both a morning and afternoon session and is delivered in a variety of ways incorporating lectures, slide seminars and interactive discussions.  The sessions take place in Bristol and Exeter. The 10 days per year of regional teaching counts towards the 30 days per annum study leave allowance.

(c)     Placements in departments with specialist expertise commensurate with the aims of the Core Training Programme of the Royal College of Pathologists. These include placements in neuropathology, paediatric and perinatal pathology (Southmead Hospital), head and neck pathology (Bristol Royal Infirmary).

(d)     Opportunities for developing a special interest through independent study and research and through specialist "elective" attachments.

(e)     Participation in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in pathology in all training centres.

(f)      Encouragement to attend and contribute to departmental audit and clinical governance meetings.

(g)     Access to protected funding - to attend local, regional and national courses.

(h)     Assessment in the form of 6 monthly appraisals directed by the local Educational Supervisor and yearly appraisals directed by the Histopathology Regional Training Director.               

In addition, trainees will receive training in health and safety awareness, information technology skills and medical informatics and in technical aspects of laboratory practice, including the dissection of specimens, section cutting and staining, immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics. Generic training is also organised by Severn PGME. The latter includes, but is not limited to training in management, medical education, clinical effectiveness and ethics.

Service related Training in Clinical Histopathology

The major element of the training programme is comprehensive practical experience of clinical surgical pathology, cytopathology and autopsy pathology with consultant supervision. Trainees will be attached to one of the training hospitals for one year at a time and during these attachments they will contribute to the service work of the departments, to a level commensurate with their level of experience and proficiency. Each individual training hospitals varying educational qualities

Structured Training, Self Directed Learning and Research

In all training departments, there are ample opportunities to attend clinicopathological conferences, postgraduate department lectures and seminars and university lectures on topics related to the scientific basis of pathology. Teaching of medical students, postgraduates (from histopathology and other specialities) and non-medical staff is positively encouraged in all training departments. It is expected that Specialty Trainees will gain experience in lecturing to medical students (and others) during their time at Southmead Hospital.

Trainees will also be encouraged to develop critical skills and to partake in research projects throughout their Specialty Training posts. Time for research and audit will be made available in all training departments. For Specialty Trainees especially motivated toward research, provision will be made for them to have more time available for research where at all possible. Nevertheless it is expected that every Specialty Trainee will undertake some research with a view to publication or presentation at local, regional, national or international scientific meetings.


Progress Monitoring and Assessment

Trainees' progress will be monitored through the use of log books, records of work-place based assessments, six monthly review meetings with their Educational Supervisor and formal Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) delivered by the ARCP panel. This panel consists of at least three members including the Head of the Postgraduate School of Pathology, Regional Director of Training/Programme Director, and an External Histopathology Consultant from a different Deanery.