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Scottish Medical Training

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Speciality: Diagnostic Neuropathology

Programme Description
GMC Reference: EOS3990

GMC Reference: EOS3990

Diagnostic Neuropathology is a discipline of anatomical pathology, distinct from General Histopathology. Diagnostic Neuropathology was recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC) as a distinct specialty in October 2012, with the Scottish training programme receiving approval in 2016. The training programme covers all aspects of Diagnostic Neuropathology including: surgical neuropathology, both adult and paediatric; molecular neuropathology, particularly molecular neuro-oncology; post mortem neuropathology, both adult and paediatric; forensic neuropathology, both adult and paediatric; neuromuscular pathology, both adult and paediatric; cytology; ophthalmic pathology.  Entry in to the programme is at ST3 level (Stage C) following successful attainment of the FRCPath Histopathology part 1 examination.

 Recruitment is managed through the UK national recruitment process, and successful applicants will receive a National Training Number (NTN). The training will take place over a period of 3 years (WTE) during which time the trainee will be expected to attain FRCPath in Diagnostic Neuropathology. 

 The Scottish programme offers a wide exposure to Diagnostic Neuropathology in line with the FRCPath Diagnostic Neuropathology curriculum ( The appointed trainee will require to be motivated and to have already developed an interest in clinical neurosciences, although additional exposure to clinical neurosciences is offered as part of the Scottish programme. The trainee will work with senior colleagues and develop skills in surgical neuropathology including intra-operative diagnosis, and telepathology diagnostics. As part of the routine surgical neuropathology service the trainee will be exposed to haematopathology, soft tissue pathology and osteoarticular pathology. In addition, molecular neuropathology training will be provided. Post mortem training will include guidance in post mortem pathology and specialised neuropathology techniques under the guidance of Consultant Neuropathologists and Consultant Forensic Pathologists. The trainee will take part in regular brain cuts, both adult and paediatric, under consultant supervision. Regular multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings are held, and the trainee will attend, and in time, present these meetings. Ophthalmic pathology is available and the trainee will be given access to specialist ophthalmic pathology training.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

There are opportunities to take part in research projects, teaching and management activities. Audit activity will be expected of the trainee. 

There are a number of active research programmes which the trainee can become involved with, and opportunities exist to support novel research in line with the trainees interests.

The trainee would be expected to undertake audit activities with consultant colleagues. 

The trainee will work closely with general histopathology trainees, and will attend weekly training sessions held for general histopathology. In addition, the trainee will be introduced to other UK trainees in Diagnostic Neuropathology and expected to attend annual training events organised by Diagnostic Neuropathology trainees. 

The trainee will be expected to support training appropriate teaching opportunities (for example undergraduate teaching).

The trainee will be encouraged to attend local management activities (departmental meetings) and also to participate in national management activities (such as British Neuropathological Society or Royal College of Pathologist training committees)

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow


This programme is delivered by NHS Lothian, based between the Western General Hospital Edinburgh and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

There is 1 recognised training centre for Diagnostic Neuropathology in Scotland, based in Edinburgh. There is opportunity for further educational visits/ short placements which can be undertaken in other centres outwith Scotland in discussion with the Training Programme Director (TPD). 


Clinical attachments will be arranged within Clinical Neurosciences as required. These will be tailored to the clinical needs of the trainee.


Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office North of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alan Denison
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Clair Evans
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2016
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Royal College of Pathologists (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Dianne Morrison
Address: NHS Education for Scotland Forest Grove House Foresterhill Road Aberdeen AB25 2ZP
Tel: 01224 805131
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Professor Colin Smith
Address: Academic Department of Neuropathology Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences Chancellor's Building University of Edinburgh Little France Edinburgh EH16 4SB
Quality of Training Quality Management

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