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Right Arrow Students see hidden science at heart of medicine
19 November 2010 at 09:53
The autopsy scene is now a staple of TV crime dramas with the green-gowned pathologist crucial to helping solve the mystery.

But 45 sixth form science students discovered pathology like this is only one small part of the medical specialty during their visit to Southport and Formby District Hospital as part of National Pathology Week.

“Those of us who do autopsies make up just less than half of all pathologists,” said Consultant Pathologist Dr Martin Shaw. “There are even fewer forensic pathologists – the ones we see in TV crime drama – and they make up less than 1% of the profession.

“This is the second time we’ve opened up our labs to show the range of the work we do, as well opening students’ minds to the breadth of potential careers to be had in pathology.”

Staff from across the hospital trust were involved in demonstrating this hidden science at the heart of medicine. They conduct more than six million tests a year to help diagnose patients and guide treatment at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals alone.

The students visiting the hospital were from Southport’s King George V College and Christ the King School, Formby High School and Range High School, Formby, and Ormskirk High School.

They were shown a practical demonstration of how disease is identified in human tissues; the work of the hospital mortuary; and the science behind infection control. They also had the chance to conduct their own biochemistry experiments.

Andrew Ye, from Range High School, said: “I am interested in a career in medicine and it was really interesting, especially getting the chance to see human tissue.”

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Telephone 01704 704494
Email tonyellis@nhs.net

Notes for editors

1. Picture shows Consultant Microbiologist Judith Bowley with (from left) Daniel Evan, from KGV College, Amy Corthine, Sam Armstrong and Andrew Ye, all of Range High School

2. National Pathology Week is an opportunity for everyone to learn about the vital role that pathology plays in their healthcare. It is organised by the Royal College of Pathologists. Thousands of pathologists and scientists from the 19 different pathology specialties held hundreds of events across the country and overseas to increase understanding of the science behind the diagnosis of disease.