This section of the website contains some useful pointers for those considering a career in clinical science. Follow the links on the left hand menu for an insight into the career path of a clinical biochemist.
The basic qualification for becoming a Clinical Biochemist is a good Honours degree in Biochemistry or Chemistry (or another science subject which contains a substantial Biochemistry component). Other science degrees may be suitable for certain posts, and Membership or Graduate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry or Membership of the Institute of Biologists by examination are also acceptable.
Trainee Clinical Biochemist posts are advertised nationally, usually between November and February. Advertisements may appear electronically at NHS Careers recruitment and in the New Scientist, the national press or ACB News . These posts are for the approved Pre-registration Training Programme, designed to prepare entrants for higher professional qualifications and eventual Consultant responsibility. The Universities of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Surrey currently offer MSc courses in Clinical Biochemistry which have been approved by the ACB. Full time and 'sandwich' courses are available, and further information may be obtained from individual programmes, although the level of financial support provided varies, and should be clarified at interview.
Many entrants to the profession will already have obtained a PhD, and the training and research experience that this provides is invaluable to the work of the Clinical Biochemist. In larger Departments, there may be opportunities to study for a research degree after entering the profession (usually in the Band 7 grade), but since this has to be fitted in with other responsibilities, it may take some years to complete.
The implementation of Modernising Scientific Careers is changing the recruitment process and training schemes for Healthcare Scientists which affects Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Microbiology and Clinical Immunology in the UK. Information can be obtained from the respective Regional Tutors or from the following resources: NHS Careers - http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk in particular ‘Careers in life sciences’ and ‘NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP)’.
Modernising Scientific Careers – please see the Department of Health website - http://www.dh.gov.uk in particular ‘Chief Scientific Officer’. The national recruitment cycle starts in January with advertisements in New Scientist and information on the NHS careers website.
The training of medical graduates wishing to specialise in clinical biochemistry is coordinated through the Royal College of Pathologists.