World Doctor's Day: Dr Jon Salisbury's story

Dr Jon Salisbury, Consultant Histopathologist at King's, tells us why he chose to become a doctor

Dr Jon Salisbury

"I’m a Consultant Histopathologist specialising in the microscopic appearance of haematopathology, skin pathology, and bone and joint pathology. I’m also an autopsy-active pathologist on the Approved List for coronial autopsies.

"I started at King’s in February 1985 as a Senior Registrar in Morbid Anatomy (yes, there was such a department back then) and was promoted to Senior Lecturer/Consultant in October 1987. We changed the name of our department to Histopathology in the early 1990s as it better reflects what we do – cell and tissue microscopic pathology – although we are still responsible for post-mortem examinations.

"World Doctors’ Day is a day celebrated to recognise the contributions of physicians to individual lives and communities. I have worked in Ethiopia with the British Council improving pathology services and have met many European pathologists who are now good friends. Wherever you are in the world, the underlying pathological processes are the same. Pathologists serve patients and also the communities in which they live.

"My inspiration to become a doctor began as a teenager because I wanted to use science to help people. I found it absolutely amazing that you could look down a microscope and see structural changes in a patient’s cells that enabled you to make a diagnosis – and I still find that amazing!

"In my role, I’m passionate about two things – providing a quality pathology service to the people of south London, and passing my knowledge on. That’s why I’ve always been so involved in medical student pathology teaching and training junior pathologists. Junior pathologists who trained at King’s are now NHS consultant histopathologists throughout the UK and professors of pathology in other countries, and that’s a great feeling.

"COVID-19 has impacted us all and how we work in so many different ways. My message to those doctors who have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic would be, all of us will be forever grateful to those on the frontline, particularly the Intensive Therapy Unit staff and all those who were redeployed. It’s important to remember though that doctors don’t do it alone – like most things in life, it’s a team effort that gets the results."