Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
2d ago

Pay varies for pathologists and for registrars (those in training), depending on seniority, hours, location and frequency of on-

call or emergency cover.

  • Registrars working for a district health board (DHB) usually earn between $70,000 and $175,000 a year.
  • Qualified pathologists working for a DHB usually earn between $151,000 and $212,000.
  • Source : New Zealand District Health Boards Senior Medical and Dental Officers Collective Agreement, 1 July 2013 to 20 June 2016.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Pathologists may do some or all of the following :

  • study and test tissue and fluids for disease
  • diagnose diseases such as cancer and diabetes
  • take samples of body tissue and fluids
  • find genetic causes of disease
  • write detailed reports
  • provide advice for medical practitioners
  • investigate deaths and complete autopsies
  • research diseases to find cures
  • teach medical students and trainees
  • monitor treatment of diseases.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Pathologists need to have knowledge of :

  • how the human body works
  • different diseases and illnesses, and how to diagnose them
  • medicines and treatments, and the effect these have on the body
  • the chemistry of the body
  • anatomy and medical surgical procedures
  • current research and practices in their field.
  • Pathologists :

  • may work regular business hours, or may be on call if they work in hospitals
  • work in hospital laboratories, private laboratories and medical schools
  • work with infectious material laboratories have very strict health and safety standards to minimise risks
  • travel throughout New Zealand and overseas to attend meetings, seminars and workshops.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a pathologist you need to :

  • complete the Health Sciences First Year programme at Otago University, or the first year of either the Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Auckland University
  • complete a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Otago or Auckland Universities
  • work for two years as a house officer (supervised junior doctor) in a hospital
  • complete another five years of specialist training and examinations to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.
  • Secondary education

    NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include maths with calculus and / or statistics, chemistry, physics, biology and English.

    Personal requirements

    Pathologists need to be :

  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • analytical, with problem-solving skills
  • able to work well under pressure
  • excellent at data analysis and interpretation
  • good at communicating
  • good at report writing.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for pathologists includes :

  • work in healthcare in hospitals or clinics
  • work in a laboratory
  • work caring for people.
  • Physical requirements

    Pathologists need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).


    Pathologists need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

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