Penn V'2024
Mar 8, 2020
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Veterinary
Hi everyone,

I am currently a first year veterinary student with a big interest in pathology. I was looking into possibly going into a pathology residency, but just wanted some advice on going into anatomic pathology vs. clinical pathology. I feel as though I could enjoy doing both, but was wondering if anyone had any insight on job availability/demand in regards to one vs. the other.

Along with this, I was told to try and assist with necropsies at local zoo/wildlife centers during my summers between each year if I decide to go into anatomic pathology, but what sort of experience should I be trying to go for if I leaned more towards clinical pathology? The veterinary school I attend has a summer NIH-BI program that involves veterinary students to partake in research with a mentor over this summer. Would this help in any way in regards to a path residency application? Thanks in advance!


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7+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2013
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
There’s a couple anatomic residents and one boarded anatomic around so I’ll let them chime in too, but I’m a clinical pathologist. Up until this year with COVID, job availability for clin path has equaled demand. Residents could get jobs fairly easily but you may not be able to go where you wanted location wise. It isn’t like cardio or derm or whatever where you can say “I want to live HERE” and a job will be there. With that said, diagnostic clin path is starting to go virtual, so we won’t be as limited geographically once we can reliably do pathology from home. This year with COVID there’s almost nothing for jobs and residents are scrambling and taking whatever they can get. Who knows what will happen in the next 1-2 years...and who knows where we’ll be in 4 years when you’d start a residency and 7 years when you’d be done with one. Hopefully this year is an anomaly.

Good experiences for clin path overlap a lot with anatomic path. If your school hires students to run bloodwork overnight that can be great experience and help you make major connections with faculty. Doing summer research is great, especially if you join a project with pathology faculty or your project has a path tie in. Be a member of pathology club and go to labs and listen to speakers, go to the ACVP meetings (once they’re in person again) to network and consider doing a student poster, do as well as you can in your classes but especially the pathology classes, just hang around the clin path and necropsy labs (covid permitting). Getting experience in necropsy and all that will never be bad for clin path. I did extra necropsy/advanced path rotations and they only help. Luckily you’ve got a lot of time to figure out if you really want to pursue path and which kind is a better fit for you.
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