Microbiologist NHS Watch

This discussion is closed.
ShibShabShob
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 months ago
#1
Hello,
I’m 16 Year 12 6th form doing bio, chem, maths and psych as level.

When I’m older, I might want to go for a microobiologist in the nhs as a career, maybe even a consulatant microbiologist at one point but I’m really not sure on what route to take. I emailed some consultant microbiologists in my area with the same question and I posted on here as well to hopefully get more answers.

Originally, I was thinking doing biology (specialise in micro) in uni and applying STP after that to be a clinical scientist. I then thought of doing biomedicla science and applying STP to be clinical scientist or apply biomedical scientist if IBMS accredited degree. I then thought of maybe doing medicine in uni and specialising in infection to be a pathologist, but now I am just lost.

I still don’t understand much difference between biomedical scientist, clinical scientist and pathologist other than bms run the tests while clinical scientist and pathologist diagnose.

Can someone please help me on what a good route would be to become consultant microbiologist in NHS or differences between biomedical scientist, clinical scientist and pathologist regarding micro and the difficulty between the three.

Thanks and have a nice day
0
schtim
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 months ago
#2
(Original post by ShibShabShob)
Hello,
I’m 16 Year 12 6th form doing bio, chem, maths and psych as level.

When I’m older, I might want to go for a microobiologist in the nhs as a career, maybe even a consulatant microbiologist at one point but I’m really not sure on what route to take. I emailed some consultant microbiologists in my area with the same question and I posted on here as well to hopefully get more answers.

Originally, I was thinking doing biology (specialise in micro) in uni and applying STP after that to be a clinical scientist. I then thought of doing biomedicla science and applying STP to be clinical scientist or apply biomedical scientist if IBMS accredited degree. I then thought of maybe doing medicine in uni and specialising in infection to be a pathologist, but now I am just lost.

I still don’t understand much difference between biomedical scientist, clinical scientist and pathologist other than bms run the tests while clinical scientist and pathologist diagnose.

Can someone please help me on what a good route would be to become consultant microbiologist in NHS or differences between biomedical scientist, clinical scientist and pathologist regarding micro and the difficulty between the three.

Thanks and have a nice day
As some background to this answer, I'm currently a junior doctor hoping to train in microbiology/infectious diseases. I've worked with clinical scientists and consultant microbiologists, so have some knowledge of what the day-to-day job is like for them, but I know significantly more about the doctor route into it all. Also, this is based on what happens in our department-there may be some variation in exact duties etc depending on where you work.

Also, this website:
https://www.rcpath.org/discover-path...robiology.html
provides an overview of what I'm going to flesh out here.

Originally, the only way to become a consultant in microbiology was to go down the doctor route. The shortest possible training pathway currently involves (with job titles in brackets for reference):
5 years of university (medical student)
2 years foundation training (foundation doctor, sometimes called by the old names of house officer/senior house officer for years 1 and 2 respectively)
2 years general medical training (core trainee)
5 years specialty training (specialty registrar)
After all of which you get a "Certificate of Completion of Training" which allows you to apply for consultant microbiologist jobs.

It's worth noting that for medical school, foundation years and general medical training, you have to do lots of non-microbiology doctor stuff. For example, my first two years out of medical school were made up of 6 four-month jobs-one was microbiology, but I also had to do jobs in surgery, elderly care medicine, cardiology, intensive care and general practice. I was actually very lucky to get a microbiology job in my first year-most hopitals don't offer it to anyone below registrar level. Also, I still have to do at least two more years before I can become a registrar, so its unlikely I'll get to do any more microbiology between now and then. In short, the doctor training route would be fairly hellish to go through if you only wanted to do microbiology, and couldn't bear the thought of doing any other doctor type jobs.

Once you get to registrar level, you start focusing on learning just about infections-what diseases they cause, what tests to perform on the patient and in the lab to determine what infection they have, what the best antibiotic is to treat them, how to prevent them spreading to other patients etc. As such, you're considered to know more about microbiology than the average doctor on the average ward, so other teams start to ask your advice-this may be over the phone, or you may go and talk to/examine the patient themselves. If you've come via the doctor route, you'll have talked to and examined lots of patients in your previous jobs, you'll know roughly what the main diseases/procedures/treatments etc are for most other specialties, and so you'll be on a fairly even playing field with the doctors who are asking for your advice-you'll just know a bit more about infections than they do. There'll pretty much always be a consultant microbiologist supervising your work each day, so there's someone to ask if you're not sure about something.

Once you have enough experience and have passed the right exams, you become a consultant microbiologist-this means you are trusted to make decisions entirely by yourself if needed; it also means you'll probably be involved in things like setting policies and protcols for e.g. how the lab processes patient samples, or how the hospital prevents certain infections from spreading between its patients. In short, you'll be expected to have a good enough grasp of both what goes on in a hospital ward and what goes on in a microbiology lab to marry the two up, e.g. helping wards decide which tests to run, and helping the lab intepret what the significance of the tests is given what you've heard from the ward staff.

The tests in the hospital's lab are actually performed by biomedical scientists (BMS), who will have at least a 3 year science degree in a relevant field, so they understand the principles how the tests all work; they will also have to do training specific to their hospital so they know how individual machines work etc. Unlike doctors, a BMS will work pretty much all the time in the lab interacting with other scientists, rather than on phones advising doctors or out on the wards interacting with patients. An average microbiology BMS will probably know a lot more than an average doctor about things like how to tell different bacteria apart, how tests looking for DNA work, or what type of bacteria naturally live where in the body.

There's been a trend recently for the NHS to start training non-doctors to do jobs that only doctors used to be able to do (largely because it's cheaper). As such, at some point a training course was developed to allow a BMS to become a "clinical scientist", who essentially does a very similar job to a registrar-advising ward doctors about how to diagnose and treat infections. While a BMS will probably know most of the stuff to do with micro-organisms they need to, they don't know much about patients: what questions to ask them, what to look for in non-microbiology tests (like x-rays), how long will they need antibiotics for given how sick they are, etc. As such, the training course is about three years, and largely spent following microbiology consultants around to pick up all the non-lab stuff, plus all the usual coursework etc which seems to go with any professional qualification now.

Like the registrars wanting to be consultant microbiologists, clinical scientists essentially have to pass the same exams and have a similar number of years experience before they can become consultant clinical scientists. The Royal College of Pathologists makes a distinction between a Consultant Microbiologist (doctor) and a Consultant Clinical Scientist (non-doctor), but despite the terminology it seems like all "consultants" do a similar job (though I admit I don't know any consultant clinical scientists).

Note that the non-doctor pathway is a few years quicker, and bypasses all the other doctor stuff; whilst this inevitably means you won't know quite as much via the clinical scientist route vs the doctor route, it's stuff you won't really need if all you're doing is infection medicine.

Essentially, if all you want to do is microbiology, it would seem more sensible going down the BMS/clinical scientist route; if you were thinking of being a doctor anyway, then I personally think it's a more fun and better established route than going via BMS (but I'm highly biased).
1
Moatter jan
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
Very interesting and clear
0
Moatter jan
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 weeks ago
#4
I have a question I done my MS in microbiology from foreign university then after marriage I moved in U.K. 2017 now I search job related my field I am confused how to enter in nhs job related to microbiology? Please give me advice there is no path in front of me I. Am very confused
0
Moatter jan
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report 4 weeks ago
#5
I have a question I done my MS in microbiology from foreign university then after marriage I moved in U.K. 2017 now I search job related my field I am confused how to enter in nhs job related to microbiology? Please give me advice there is no path in front of me I. Am very confused
0
Apachecow
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by Moatter jan)
I have a question I done my MS in microbiology from foreign university then after marriage I moved in U.K. 2017 now I search job related my field I am confused how to enter in nhs job related to microbiology? Please give me advice there is no path in front of me I. Am very confused
To become a Biomedical Scientist in the UK you need to be registered with the HCPC. They have a section on the website for people with foreign qualifications. Once registered, then look on NHS jobs for openings (if you want to work in the health service)
0
X
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Where do you need more help?

Which Uni should I go to? (37)
13.91%
How successful will I become if I take my planned subjects? (22)
8.27%
How happy will I be if I take this career? (56)
21.05%
How do I achieve my dream Uni placement? (38)
14.29%
What should I study to achieve my dream career? (32)
12.03%
How can I be the best version of myself? (81)
30.45%

Watched Threads

View All