Submission from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia

Ten years is a long time in science and medicine, so at this point the College does not wish to feed in what we think we need now, but rather what we will need in ten years time.

The past ten years has seen the emergence of informatics as a discipline and computational biology/bioinformatics as a valuable set of translational tools. This direction will probably continue. How far and how fast, we don’t know.

Mathematics and Computer Science will be increasingly important. Pathologists will need to understand key principles underlying future tools and Pathologists don’t want to teach our Fellows this ourselves, as most would not have the skills to do so.

The College would like to recommend that the mathematics curriculum include pertinent biological and medical examples so that students realise the potential to apply it to pathology and medicine. Examples might include:

  • Biostatistics (eg reference intervals of large datasets, microarrays)
  • Probability (eg Bayesian calculations, QC and process control)
  • Graph theory (eg Massively Parallel Sequencing and sequence assembly)
  • Inferential Logic (eg Rules-based smart requesting and reporting)
  • Analytical Maths and Geometry (eg Machine Learning, Support vectors, Component Analysis, Visual displays)
  • Computer Science (eg health databases, genomic comparison algorithms, etc).
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