Chemical Pathology

Chemical pathologists diagnose and manage disease through the analysis of chemicals found in body fluids and tissues. Chemical pathologists detect changes in a number of substances in blood and bodily fluid, detect and measure cancer markers and measures levels of hormones in their patients, and may also measure the presence of poisons or therapeutic and illicit drugs. Chemical pathologists draw upon expertise in the pathophysiology of disease to provide advice to other specialties on testing and treatment options for patients.

Chemical pathologists combine the sciences of clinical medicine, biochemistry, physics, technology, computing and management into a single career. Biochemistry is fundamental to life and our discipline aptly accounts for more than half the workflow in pathology laboratories.


For the scientifically minded Chemical Pathology provides a wide scope of great career opportunities. The ability to apply basic science to benefit patients is especially rewarding.

Dr Jacobus Ungerer
Chemical Pathologist

Clinical Practice

Chemical pathologists oversee laboratories, within both public and private settings, to ensure lab conditions enable accuracy of testing, interpretation, reporting and communication of results. Clinically, chemical pathologists play an important role in treating patients with metabolic disturbances relating to the body’s internal chemistry.

Statistics and information - Chemical Pathology

Number of specialists - QLD

Number of new fellows - QLD

Number of specialists - AUS

Number of new fellows - AUS

Average weekly hours

Average Age

% Aged 60+

64% of 2018 workforce intend to retire by 2028

Proportion Female/Male - QLD


Location - QLD

Major cities

Public/Private QLD


Number of trainees - QLD

Number of new trainees - QLD

Number of trainees - AUS

Number of new trainees - AUS

2020 QLD Training Program Selections (First Year)

Eligible Applications Received
Applicants Selected

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2020 to the total number of eligible applications*

The data was sourced from the relevant medical specialist college, or from selection committees coordinated by a Queensland Health pathway/network, or an individual facility.


This data reflects a point in time figure for the selection of applicants commencing the first year of an accredited training program in the 2020 clinical year.

The collection of the selection data occurred prior to the declaration of a public health emergency in Queensland due to the COVID-19 pandemic (29 January 2020).

* eligible applications are determined by selection committees according to the eligibility criteria and required documentation prescribed by the relevant medical specialist college.

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2020 to the total number of eligible applications.

See more.

PGY new trainees - QLD

Proportion Female/Male - QLD


Length of Training

5 years full-time

Method of Allocation

College-selected trainees may be allocated to a training post by:

  • College
  • Queensland Health pathway/network (centrally coordinated)
  • Queensland Health facility (accredited for training)

Training and assessment summary

Appointments to Queensland Pathology Training Programs are coordinated by the Medical Support Unit, Pathology Queensland (Health Support Queensland) in conjunction with Pathology Queensland's State Directors and Coordinators of Education and Training. Pathology recruitment is centralised by discipline/sub-specialty and not by facility. Training is accredited through the RCPA.

Training program overview

Chemical pathology training encompasses the techniques, management and administration of a chemical pathology laboratory and incorporates work-based learning and assessment across four general functions of chemical pathologists - discipline specific functions as a medical specialist in a laboratory, functions as a manager in the laboratory, research and scholarship and professional attributes. Upon completing all requirements of the training program, trainees may apply for admission to Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA). Trainees may elect to undertake joint RCPA/RACP training in chemical pathology and endocrinology, with successful trainees attaining the qualification of FRCPA and Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.


Applicants must hold registration as a medical practitioner with a minimum of 2 years of postgraduate experience. Applicants must be employed in an accredited laboratory before seeking registration with the college.


Minimum 20% of full-time commitment.

Interrupted training

Allowed - no limit is placed on the time taken to complete training.

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Regional Training Pathways