Chemical Pathology / Metabolic Medicine

Chemical Pathology/Metabolic Medicine

The Speciality

Chemical Pathology is a discipline involved in the diagnosis and management of patients with biochemical and metabolic disorders. Metabolic Medicine is a sub-speciality open to those training in either General Internal Medicine, or Chemical Pathology, and trainees must have obtained the MRCP. Metabolic Medicine has five clinical modalities: lipid disorders and cardiovascular risk, diabetes mellitus, nutrition, inborn errors of metabolism and calcium and bone disorders.

Chemical Pathology is laboratory based, but has a strong emphasis on clinical liaison and supporting clinical colleagues in diagnosis and management of complex metabolic problems together with the direct clinical care of patients with metabolic disorders, primarily in an outpatient setting. Metabolic Medicine is concerned primarily with the clinical management of metabolic disorders. Consultant Chemical Pathologists also have a major role in laboratory management, requiring leadership skills and team working skills.

Chemical Pathologists/Metabolic Medicine Consultants work with a wide range of clinical, laboratory and managerial staff. There is scope to develop an academic career.

Specialty Attractions

There is a mixture of clinical and laboratory problems in biochemical medicine, ranging across General Practice and hospital practice: relating to individual patients.  The nature of the specialties is such that there is a likelihood of being involved in the more interesting and difficult cases, rather than many routine cases. These specialities allow a balance of work and home life to be maintained.

The rapid expansion of new technologies in the laboratory offer opportunities to develop the service, involving the need to work in collaboration with other Pathology disciplines.
The management of a laboratory service presents opportunities to work in a multidisciplinary team to ensure delivery of a patient focussed support service.

On-call advice is usually by telephone, but laboratories continue their routine work 7 days per week, so weekend working is usually done on an rota basis as part of the on-call service.

There are some opportunities for private practice, either laboratory based or in the direct clinical care of patients with metabolic disorders.

Journals of Interest

  1. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry
  2. Clinical Chemistry


Dr Sud Ramachandran, STC Chair/Programme Director for Chemical Pathology/Metabollic Medicine   Email

Professor Rousseau Gama, Royal College Specialty Advisor For Chemical Pathology/Metabollic Medicine    Email