There are so many exciting off-the-field medical science careers in sport, and a pathway in pathology is just one of them.
Studying medical science doesn’t necessarily equal a life of anonymous lab work or shifts in a hospital. If science, health and helping others is your jam, then you can combine it with pretty much any other industry, passion or ‘X’ – yep, including footy.
What is pathology?
Pathology plays an important role across all areas of medicine, from diagnostic testing and monitoring of chronic conditions to cutting-edge genetic research and blood transfusion tech.
GPs and surgeons rely on the diagnostic smarts of pathologists to provide definitive answers regarding a patient’s medical state through the examination of tissues, blood and other bodily fluids. They’re often involved in the day-to-day delivery of patient care too, dividing their time between performing blood tests face-to-face and analysing their findings back in the lab.
Oh, and get this – most people don’t realise that pathologists are involved in the monitoring of acute and chronic illnesses – think cancer diabetes, blood disorders and infections – and ultimately dictate how these life-threatening conditions are managed. Such an important gig.
What do you have to study to become a pathologist?
The short answer? Loads. Pathologists are medical doctors with at least 13 years of training. You must first train to become a doctor, followed by at least five years of training in an accredited pathology laboratory and the completion of a number of examinations. Check out the Royal College of Pathologists of Australia for loads of pathway and study options.
What are some exciting, out-of-the-box careers in the field?
Pathology + sport! Loads of successful athletes are supported by an off-field team of medical professionals (physiotherapists, doctors, dieticians etc), and in the case of GWS Giants star Sam Reid – that includes a pathologist. The talented AFL player has type 2 diabetes, which means close monitoring of his condition is essential. Check out the video below to get excited about a seriously surprising STEM gig in sport.
Keen to suss out more exciting science + sports roles? Making prosthetics devices for elite athletes has to be one of the ultimates.
Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.