Stage B lasts for 12 – 18 months. During this time trainees consolidate and develop their knowledge base from stage A. Stage B trainees are given more independence and are expected to be able to cut up most specimens by the end of the stage. In some centres trainees can independently report simple cases with appropriate consultant level oversight after they have passed the stage B examination – the FRCPath part 1. This exam is in multiple choice and extended matching question format. The syllabus encompasses the depth and breadth of histopathology and taking the exam acts as a great driver for trainees to increase their level of knowledge.
In many deaneries, stage B is the time when trainees complete rotations in sub specialities including paediatric pathology, neuropathology and oral pathology. Trainees may rotate to placements in local district general hospitals to gain valuable experience in managing a general histopathology workload. Autopsy and cervical cytology training continue as mandatory elements of stage B. Some trainees choose not to continue these specialities when they have completed stage B.