Dr Shane Battye is a pathology consultant working primarily in anatomical pathology. We begin our conversation today by diving into his pathway into pathology. Shane eschewed studying aerospace engineering to enter medicine, and eventually found a field where he could indulge in his “science-y side”, having enjoyed misroscopes and laboratories during his time at school. He takes us through what his typical day involves, including what it takes to report up to 400 specimens a day!

The heavy workload, especially in the private system where there is less variation, can be “draining” at times. However, Shane explains with a striking anecdote why each slide and specimen must be analysed with detail and rigor. He encourages us to confer with colleagues on decisions we are unsure of, given that patients’ management may be altered by our input. At the same time, he enjoys the challenge of presenting his findings at conferences and multidisciplinary meetings. This illustrates how pathology can be as social a specialty as one wants!

Shane has also invested considerable time into changing pathology on a “larger level”. Fed up with the poor image quality of social media websites, he has launched his own platform – Pathobin – where pathologists, other doctors and students can share and discuss images they come across. He has also used this website, which he has presented at conferences around the world, to promote his interest in 3-D printing. We talk about how to go about forming a start-up and the benefits and drawbacks of balancing entrepreneurship with a busy clinical life.

At the end of the day, he encourages us to “learn how to say no” and pursue what we enjoy. For Shane, this is the thrill of anatomical pathology and the predictable work hours it offers. Despite his busy work schedule, Shane details for us how he manages to invest time in his hobbies of backyard astronomy and video games. Recently, he has also taken to 3-D modelling in his spare time, which he sees as an exponentially growing aspect of the medical profession.

If you have any other questions you’d like us to ask Dr Shane Battye, fill out the form below or shoot us a message!

Pathways into Pathology:

Medical School → Internship → Advanced Training in Pathology (5 years)→ Consultant

Source: Royal Australian College of Pathologists

Salary

According to the Australian Government Taxation Data, in the 2013-14 income year we had:

  • 1709 female pathologists earning an average of $90,935
  • 808 male pathologists earning an average of $224,378
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TMC020: Pathology with Dr Shane Battye
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