Anatomical pathologists are medical doctors who have specialised in anatomical pathology. They have attained their primary medical degree either after completing five or six years of medical school, or as a four year postgraduate medical degree after completing a three year university undergraduate degree. They have thereafter performed at least one year, usually more, of clinical practice involving a mixture of medical jobs including emergency, surgery, paediatrics and general medicine. They then apply for a training position to study whilst working in the field of anatomical pathology, during which time they are called a pathology registrar. In Australia this is a 5 year full-time programme in which the registrar is required to work in a number of different laboratories to get the required experience necessary to work as a consultant (fully qualified) anatomical pathologist. Two major professional examinations must be sat, one in the 3rd and the other in the 4th or 5th year of training, in addition to several minor examinations during the course of their training. Registration and training of all pathologists, including anatomical pathologists, in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia is overseen by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).

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