Haematologists are specialists who not only play a part in the investigation techniques used to identify diseases but also play an active role in the treatment and care of patients, making this speciality quite like no other. A haematologist will have a particular interest in diseases of the blood and organs. Diseases they would typically research and treat include leukaemia, bone marrow transplants and polycythemia. A haematologist will need to work in a laboratory alongside other pathologists.

They will also work on the ward with other medical professionals, including doctors and nurses. This is a speciality in which advances are nearly always occurring. This requires haematologists to continue studying throughout their career in order to keep up-to-date with such advances. A haematologist will usually be given the chance, once their career has developed, to specialise in one specific area such as transfusions, malignant haematology and viruses.

Work activities

Typical activities a haematologist would need to conduct on a daily basis include:

  • Carry out medical research of the blood and organs.
  • Examine patient cells for any irregularities or diseases.
  • Work as part of a team of pathologists in order to come to a diagnosis when studying patient samples.
  • Offer your clinical opinion to other medical professionals and be welcoming of their input.
  • Work in laboratories.
  • Treat patients one-on-one.
  • Play a part in nearly every stage of the treatment of a patient.
  • Work to tight or sometimes relaxed deadlines, dependent on patient illness.
  • Use computers and other equipment to conduct research.
  • Use your educated knowledge of pathology to diagnose, treat and care for patients.
  • Continue to study throughout your career in order to learn of any new research techniques and patient treatments.
  • Work under sometimes stressful conditions.

Essential skills

  • Extensive knowledge of diseases and other areas of pathology.
  • Excellent levels of dexterity and practical skills to ensure samples are not ruined through mishandling.
  • Ability to communicate with a variety of medical professionals and scientists.
  • Able to work as an individual and as part of a team.
  • Accepting of other peoples’ opinions, and able to offer your own input to others.
  • Organised and professional manner.
  • IT competent.
  • Attention to detail, in order to identify any discrepancies with patient samples.
  • Able to concentrate for a long period of time.
  • Theoretical and systemic approach.