The hard work and dedication of pathology professionals is mostly unseen by the public in civilian life but is even more invisible when it comes wearing camouflage. Know Pathology Know Healthcare decided to look at pathology’s role in the armed forces.

In the video, Captain Crystal Jones talks about her work as a Scientific Officer specialising in pathology. Captain Jones is one of only a few highly skilled pathology personnel working within the ADF.


We asked a Defence spokesperson for a few more details about medical and pathology personnel within the ADF.

Where do pathology personnel work?

Pathology personnel are primarily employed in deployable or deployed laboratories that support field hospitals or ships. Their work includes the provision of blood banking, transfusion medicine, microbiology, haematology and biochemistry services in support of deployed healthcare.

When not deployed, pathology personnel maintain their clinical skills through a combination of work with deployable equipment and within garrison based or civilian pathology services.

How many people work in pathology in the ADF?

As of March 2015, there are 13 permanent Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and 13 reserve ADF personnel that are dedicated pathology workers in the ADF. These personnel deliver deployable and deployed pathology services meaning they service troops in the field rather than on base.

All of the permanent ADF and approximately half of the reserve ADF personnel are medical scientists, there are 6 pathologists in the reserve ADF.

How many medical personnel work in the ADF overall?

Clinical health personnel make up approximately 3% of the permanent ADF workforce and 6% of the reserve force.

Approximately 3% of Defence Australian Public Service (APS) personnel contribute to the delivery of garrison healthcare services to Defence personnel.

How many women work in the medical field in the ADF?

Women make up 15.3% of the ADF workforce and 40.6% of the APS workforce. Of the APS personnel that contribute to the delivery of healthcare services, 68% are women.