Master in Pathology (Malaysia): A Guide To Apply.

Well, I got carried away in previous post talking about my experience taking entrance exam for Master in Pathology. You can check it here:

That was not my first attention on trying to write such post. My intention was to share on how to get into that entrance exam in the first place. So here it is. A step by step guide on how to get yourself into the entrance exam. 

A Guide to Apply for Master in Pathology (Mpath) 

1. Make up your mind. I've seen a few of my friends who apply for this pathway and get confused before it begin. Ask yourself, are you really interested in Pathology? Do you know what pathology is? Do you know what kind of work are you going to do in Pathology. 

Most of the time, people thought pathology MO or specialist were all just sitting down drinking coffee and chit chat all day long. No work to do. Think again. The best thing to do is to get yourself into the department itself. Work as a pathology MO first, in a few months time you will make up your mind. You will. 

2. Ear on HLP. HLP or Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan is a kind of scholarship offered by Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia for all MOH employee that want to further study. Its a scholarship so basically you will be bound to government for a certain period of time if you accept HLP. 

Ear on! HLP we page (Link already changed) only open once in a year. Same like other Ministry, it will be open for a period of 30 days for all the interested people to apply. The server, as usual, will be sucks. What do you expect? Thousands of applicant sending their data to that server in a month time. Lag will be a major issue. But first of all, you need to ear on regarding when this web page will be opened. You can check it regularly, they will post a notice there, or just keep your ear around. Usually rumors and social media information will revealed when this web page open every year. 

3. Fill the form. Sound easy. Maybe it is. Just fill up the online form. Everything from your demographic details, up to which University that you want to go to. Obviously which course do you want to apply. In this case, Sarjana Patologi. 

Bear in mind, this form will only ask what Master do you want to do and which university. However, in pathology, there were no such thing as pathology itself. The first year of Pathology Master will be general Pathology, then you will have to choose whether you want to do Anatomic Pathology, Chemical Pathology, Microbiology, Hematopathology, Genetics, or Forensic. 

HLP will not ask you to state what do you want to do, however, later if you choose a University which did not offer that specialty, you will be in trouble. For example, you want to do genetics, it will only be offered by USM and you cannot simply choose other university for that specialty. 

4. Essay.  This is a minor thing inside HLP, but it will ask you to write a short essay consist of not more than 100 words on your achievement or whatever you want to write about yourself. For me, I wrote a bit of my biodata, a few words only, why I choose Pathology, which area I want to specialise, and what are my plan if I ever become one. Short, concise , less than 100 words. 

5. Get a referee.  You need two referee inside the HLP, person who would recommend you to enter the program. If you are in Pathology department, then ask your Head of Department and one other pathologist to be your referee. they will need to write a short notes on your potential and everything. So don't ask Pathologist who hate you to be a referee. Common sense. If you are not in Pathology, then ask your head of department or any specialist  to be your referee. Or any specialist who know you the best. Know about your potential and everything. 

6. Picture and Print. As usual, all HLP form online need to be printed in about 5-6 6 copies, attach your picture on each form. Why 5-6? One form you need to submit via mail to Bahagian Latihan Persekutuan, and the rest to the Universities. You will be given a choice of 4 universities in HLP to apply. What matter are your first choice. The rest, will be your back up. 

7. Get Hospital Director to sign. All of this form need to be sign by hospital director. Usually your hospital will know what to do with all of this form. If you have a doubt, ask 'Unit Latihan'(Training unit). You will need to submit all of this to them for them to provide you with a cover letter, and then get hospital director to sign it, then they will give it back to you. Do this early as this process might take 2-3 days to be completed. 

8. Pos Express it. Okay, poslaju or Pos Express may sound lame to you (you fancy those private shipping company), but for me I like that Pos Express hard envelope. I bought like 6 of them, put all my form in each envelope, then submit it according to what have been instructed in HLP web page. You can find the instruction usually in FAQ section. 

9. Wait and check. You are done, then wait and check HLP page periodically. Somewhere around October, they will announce the result for you. Just enter your IC number in that page, it will say Congratulations, your application has been accepted, date of interview will be announced later. Something like that. 

10. Ear on entrance exam. Entrance exam will be done on January or December (recently). Ear on as they will not call you or email you. Some of the candidate that took entrance exam with me said that they only knew about the exam 2 days before that. So keep your ear on and ask around. Rumours cannot be neglected. If you heard or found out about it, then start calling those who in charged for the exam to send you an invitation email or letter as soon as possible. We get out letter a day before the entrance workshop. It's difficult, especially for us from Sabah...oversea. Haha. 

11. Entrance exam workshop. They will be a workshop explaining on how to answer the exam, what you need to expect, and at this workshop you will be brief on every specialty in Pathology. You will need to fill up another biodata form for interview later, this time you get to choose which specialty you want to do either Anatomic Pathology, Microbiology, hematopathology..etc. 

In this workshop also, they will held a mock exam session. They will analyse you all on your performance and at this time you will know whether you study enough for the exam. 

This workshop on entrance exam usually called MOCK exam. It will be held one month before the real exam or one week before (recently). 

12. Entrance Exam. During MOCK exam or the workshop, they will give you the details on when the entrance exam, the venue and everything you need to know about the exam. They will issue a letter during or a few days after that to give details on the exam. You can use this to apply for unrecorded leave. 

Entrance exam will be held in a University, my case in UM. Every year they will change the venue. U
It will be a 3 days program. The first day will be the theory paper. The second and third day will be the interview. 

13. Theory paper. The theory paper will consist of 2 papers. Each paper will consist of 40 questions, and each questions will have 5 true or false statements. Meaning you will have 400 true or false questions to answer. For each question you answer correctly, one mark will be give, if you are wrong, one mark will be deducted, and if you did not answer, no mark or deduction will be given. 

A few topic need to be cover...well a lot of them. Just read those medical books such as oxfords, any clinical books. The question will focus mainly on clinical aspect and applied pathology. Not just pathology itself. It will ask regarding clinical diagnosis, investigation result, management. Something like that. 

To be safe, just read first 10 chapters of Robin's Pathologic Basis of Disease. That would be enough. At the same time, read those Oxford mini handbook on clinical medicine, that would help. 

And get all the past year question, usually the question will be similar. 

14. Interview. If you pass the exam, you will have to go for an interview the next day. The result for the theory exam will be announced by 4pm on the same day of that theory paper was held. The theory paper will be held in the morning, finished after 2 hours, then at 4pm, check the result. If you passed, be prepared for interview. 

For the interview, no need to worry much. It's not like Viva or something. It was just an interview. Like a job interview. They will ask why you want to take this program, are you good enough, what will you do if you got it. They like to ask about the job scope of the program that you want to take. For example, if you choose Hematopathology, they will ask what Hematopathologist work are like. If you did not know, then its bad for you. Same like when you apply for a job as a cleaner but you did not know what cleaner do. Haha. Something like that. 

15. Done and pray... That's it. After the interview, you can now live your life normally. Get a vacation. Pray and wait for the result to come out. Usually it will be announced on April each year. 

There are another way to become a pathologist, i guess, by applying for MRCPath. From what I heard, its difficult to pass, expensive and perhaps not recognise in Malaysia. Not sure about that. 

If you did not want to use government scholarship, then you can apply directly from each university, just go to their web page and they will be a link for application. You will still need to go for entrance exam together with everybody else. 

I am also waiting for my result now, I pass the exam, done interview and hopefully will be accepted into the program.

* Update April 2017 - I will no longer share past year questions for the entrance exam. This is based from my wife experiences recently that the question were totally out from the past year questions that we have. So, doing the past year question could be pointless as for now. It is still the best to read the first 10 chapters on General Pathology Robin's Pathology or just watch the video lecture on youtube. 


  1. HI... =) May i have the past year questions for entramce exam please.....?
    My emsail is

    Pleaseeee....thanks a lot!

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Hi there.. did u get the past year quest samples? Can u pls send to me? My email add is thank you

    3. Hi Sona. I have already emailed you the question which I recover from one of my colleague. Please do share it with everyone else. Hope you and everyone success in the entrance exam.

    4. Hi..can I have the pass year questions.thanks in email address

  2. I do have a few question but only a few from past mock exam. Otherwise, if u read first 10 chapter of Robin's or Sarawak handbook for emergency medicine, u shud be ok. A few of people I know study by past year exam and didn't make it through the exam. I will email to you those question that I have.

    1. Can i have the past year questions? Many thanks! My emai is

  3. I do have a few question but only a few from past mock exam. Otherwise, if u read first 10 chapter of Robin's or Sarawak handbook for emergency medicine, u shud be ok. A few of people I know study by past year exam and didn't make it through the exam. I will email to you those question that I have.

    1. Can i have past year questions too? My email is

    2. Can i have past yr question too? Thank u. My emel :

  4. Anonymous2:53 pm

    Can i have the past year questions too? My email

  5. Assalamualaikum.... Im just interested... Never been in the department.... Planning nak further in patho.... Boleh emailkan past year question... Not interested in surgical base, wanted more time with family... And want to do some specialty....

  6. Assalamualaikum.... Im just interested... Never been in the department.... Planning nak further in patho.... Boleh emailkan past year question... Not interested in surgical base, wanted more time with family... And want to do some specialty....

  7. Oh my, I wanted to email to you all the file on past year question. However, I just realized that rooted my phone and flash ot with a new ROM, kind of wipe all my data.... I did managr to email it to S-S who leave a comment aboved...

  8. hye, i would like to have the sample questions please...thank u :)
    my email:

  9. hye, i would like to have the sample questions please...thank u :)
    my email:

  10. Hi, all the best to you! :) If you don't mind, i would also love to have the sample questions please. My email add:
    Thank you.

  11. Hai...i would love to have the sample questions please. My email is
    Thank you ☺

  12. hi there.. can I have the past year questions samples too please? by the way, thank you for sharing your experience here.. very helpful indeed.. my email add is thank you again..

  13. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog by accident; but I have to say that it is quite informativet. I've been interested in Pathology since my 2nd year as a Medical student. I just would like to know that upon completion of HOship, are you able to choose which category of Medicine you would like to practise? Like Non Clinicals and Clinicals? Or do you have to decide which hospital you would like to join first then only you are given the choices of departments to choose from said hospital?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Dharishenni. It's very noce to know that you are interested in pathology, hope you will be a pathologist in the future.

      Regarding your concern, after you finish your HOship, you will be sent to any hospital or assign to any department based on the available position at that time. Yes, we will be given some sort of 'option' to which hospital or department that we wany, but usually they will assign for you. Its just logic, does not matter how much you want pathology, for example, if there is no position then there is no point to assign extra doctor there.

      However, it is better to start early in the area of your interest. Take the opportunity as fast as you can. For example, if there is position for pathology but it was fsr from your home then take it. Or join university as a trainee lecturer. Or just write so much letter of appeal to join pathology.

      If still can't then take the external paper such as RCPA or MRCPath.

      Usually, after HOship you will be assign to which state you want to practice. After ypi report duty to that state Health Drpsrtment then you can try to choose which hospital that have available position. Then in that hospital you can choose which department you want base on availability.

    2. Hi again. I'm actually about to finish my HOship and I also approached my Pathology HOD here to attempt to float in the department. (Low chance of course, but I had to try) Anyway, she told me a few things that I really wanted to clarify.

      According to the HOD, Pathology MOs, even those who are in the Master programs of their specific interests, will have to perform autopsies when the department doesn't have enough service MOs.

      I wanted to ask you that is there a website which has elaborate information on the different fields of Pathology?

      Also, let's say you decide to do an external paper on your on (MRCP Path or RCPA). Does that mean you carry on working as an MO in any department at the same time?

      Thank you, by the way, for the information thus far.

    3. 1. Well.. Do you like doing autopsy? If yes then I would say YES! you have to do autopsy. If you don't like autopsy, I would say 'YES' you have to do autopsy.

      The training to be a pathologist required you to do 10 autopsy during your first year of study no matter which field you wanted to pursuit. After that, if you happen to choose Anatomic Pathology, you will have to do another 100 autopsies. If you choose the other, then you don't need to do that anymore.

      As Pathology MO, yes you are the second person people will go to for autopsy if there were nobody around. Basically you have to cover other pathologist job if you are the only pathologist around. For example, you are Anatomic pathologist, but you still need to cover hematology and blood bank if no other pathologist around. Same goes to autopsies.

      However, have you seen a Microbiologist performing autopsy? Or hematopathologist? It rarely happen but possible.

      But in case of medical officer it is not uncommon.

      2. There are a lot of website which elaborate different fields of pathology, but most of them from overseas. I do find a little discrepancy here and there comparing to our system. Basically we have Anatomic Pathology, Chemical Pathology, Hematopathology, Forensic Pathology, and Clinical Microbiology. All this field were separated, but here in Malaysia, like our house officer training program, we integrate them so that we will have a know it all pathologist in the end. It have pro and cons. Maybe you can google each of the field to know more about it.

      3. External paper, yes we hear a lot of people getting MRCP and poof..become a specialist. You can do that for pathology too. But from what I heard, MRCPath and RCPA paper are not that easy to pass. The reason: It's difficult, no proper training for candidates like what they did for MRCP (medicine), their pathology academic system overseas are not similar to ours, thus you need to go there Australia or UK for attachment to get to familiarized with their system.

      If you work in other department while taking this paper, it's possible but in my opinion, you will have difficult time learning.

      I would suggest, that if you did not manage to get into Pathology, just work in any field they put you into. I do believe when you work in clinical site first, this will help you in pathology later. Do not rush to be a pathologist, learn the clinical first. If possible, try a little bit of everything, do surgery, medical, Obs and gynae ( or you can work in district to learn everything). But make sure you have a plan to get into pathology later (don't get stuck).

  14. Salam/hi...thanks a lot for the guides.would like to have the past yr q..can email me the q? Tq

  15. hello.. thank you so much for the informative description of the masters program in pathology! I'm interested to take the entrance exam next year. can you please send me a copy of the past year questions? thank you very much!

  16. Hi
    It was nice to read yr blog post as u have provided very detailed info. Any idea if foreigners too need to sit for entrance exam for pathology/any masters degree despite that they are not applying through MOH but directly through university website online? Much appreciated!Thanks.

    1. As far as I am concern, all accepted candidate will need to sit for the entrance exam. This however varies from University to University. Some University will accept the student just base on the resume, most of them require entrance exam.

  17. i am thinesh (i did bsc hons microbiology , and did mbbs as second degree), i want to pursue in microbiology, issit ms path the right choice? how shud i go about it, plz guide me, i am very very lost.. my email is

    1. It's up to you to choose. There are pro and cons. Have you work in pathology before?

  18. salam.i would love to have the sample questions please. My email is
    Thank you in advanced☺

  19. Salam.. i would like to have the sample of past year questions.. my email is tq so much


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