Haematologists diagnose and clinically manage disorders of the blood and bone marrow. They also provide clinical support for the haematology diagnostic laboratory including the blood bank.
Nature of the work
Haematologists undertake the care of outpatients and inpatients, provide an advisory and consultancy service to all hospital specialists and general practitioners, and manage diagnostic laboratories. They provide clinical interpretation of laboratory data and morphology (form and structure) of blood and bone marrow specimens.
This holistic approach to clinical care is a highlight of the specialty. Clinical haematology is an intensive, exciting, rewarding but demanding specialty that encompasses both clinical and laboratory practice. As a result of this dual role, hematologists take an active part in every stage of patient management, from initial clinic visit, to laboratory assessment/diagnosis and finally to treatment. Haematologists work with patients of all ages and they manage both benign and malignant conditions.
Specialists undergo training in all aspects of haematology, both clinical and laboratory. As consultants, they are expected to maintain a core competence in both these areas to provide an on-call and emergency service.
Haematologists work closely with biomedical scientists, who generally perform routine laboratory work. They also work closely with a wide range of other specialists in large multidisciplinary teams.
Teaching medical students and trainees is often part of the work, and many haematologists also undertake research. Larger departments may employ academic haematologists.