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Career Development - Pathology

What Does Training Look Like?

Residency in pathology is four years for anatomical and clinical pathology programs. For anatomical pathology programs, three years of residency is standard. Similarly, for clinical pathology, residency lasts three years.
 
Subspecialties

Blood banking/Transfusion medicine
Chemical Pathology
Clinical Informatics
Cytopathology
Dermatopathology
Forensic Pathology
Hematopathology
Medical Microbiology
Molecular Genetic Pathology
Neuropathology
Pediatric Pathology
Selective Pathology (Selective Pathology fellowships concentrate on a particular area or organ system in surgical pathology; these fellowships do not have specialty board exams for certification.)
 
What Does a Typical Workday Look Like?

A typical workday involves being in the lab from 7:30 am to 5:30 or 6 pm. Pathologists consult with the clinical teams continuously throughout the day regarding the cases at hand. Teaching is a significant part of the daily routine, whether in academic or private practice, and many participate in research. Pathologists assume medical directorship roles for the laboratories, interact with the various federal, state and specialty accrediting agencies and participate significantly in hospital quality programs. Transfusion medicine pathologists provide direct care for patients in therapeutic apheresis and cell therapy collections. Night and weekend call is typically not as intense as other specialties, and involves activities such as frozen sections for surgery, hematology reviews for acute leukemia and emergent therapeutic apheresis procedures. Overall, the projected length or and satisfaction with career, work and personal lifestyle and benefits are favorable. 
 
Important Qualities and Traits

Qualities recognized as important to pathology include:

  • Good microscopic technique
  • Excellent communication with other physicians
  • Intelligence and strong problem solving skills
 
Shadowing Opportunities

Information about shadowing in pathology is available by contacting Bea Delucca.
 
Research Opportunities

To learn more about research opportunities in pathology, contact Bea Delucca, Dr. Skrikanta Dash, Dr. Erik Flemington, Dr. Gilbert Morris, or Dr. Tong Wu .

Additionally, students may want to pursue research opportunities through the DeBakey Scholars Program. This program offers medical students the opportunity to pursue and complete a longitudinal, structured, closely supervised research experience culminating in a capstone presentation prior to graduation. For more information, contact Dr. Kenneth Mitchell.

 
Specialty Interest Group

Currently, there is no specialty interest group for pathology. If student interest arises, one can be formed.
 
Recommended T3 & T4 Coursework

Several electives in pathology are available. These include: Surgical Pathology, Dermatopathology, Hematopathology, and Cytopathology.
 
Specialty Statistics

Number of Applicants & Positions (from "Results and Data 2018 Main Residency Match")

Summary Statistics (from "Charting Outcomes in the Match 2018")

pathology charting outcomes-match 2018

 
Special Considerations When Applying for Residency

Students wishing to pursue a residency in pathology will take part in the NRMP Match process.
 
Important Advice

Figure out which program will be the best fit for you. There’s nothing as important as fit.

Scores on Step 1 and Step 2 are important aspects on which residents are matched. Make sure your scores are as competitive as possible.

Consider doing away rotations at programs in which you have interest.

Use all the resources available to you during your medical school years. These resources are here to help you!

 
How Many Programs Should I Apply To?

Available data suggests that a competitive candidate should apply to at least 10 programs to match. An average performing student should apply to at least 20 programs to match.