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.
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.
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.
NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include maths with calculus and / or statistics, chemistry, physics, biology and English.
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 for pathologists includes :
work in healthcare in hospitals or clinics
work in a laboratory
work caring for people.
Pathologists need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).
Pathologists need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.