Dec 11, 2020
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Hello all! I'm a recent veterinary graduate. I worked for a bit after I graduated in general practice. I had to take a few months off for health reasons. Now I'm considering applying for an anatomic pathology residency. I'm just wondering how my little time working and then the gap in my resume would affect my chances?


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7+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2013
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I don’t think the time working followed by a gap will affect your chances significantly in and of itself, especially if you had a demonstrable interest in pathology in school. But, often people who have been out of school longer have a harder time getting good letters of recommendations. Even if a program doesn’t say it needs a letter from a pathologist, my clinical pathology program really didn’t consider anyone without at least one letter from a boarded pathologist. Pathology is such a small community and your letters of rec are one of the most important parts of your application. Have you maintained a relationship with people from your school or others working in anatomic pathology that can write you a letter? If not, can you shadow with one on your days off to build that relationship? We like to see proof of interest in the field and you need to have a strong answer to the inevitable “why pathology” question. If you have those things I don’t think a break in employment is an application killer.
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Jan 18, 2006
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AP here. Agreed. A break in employment is not necessarily an app killer, as long as you can explain why.

The bigger question is, what parts of your application would make you competitive overall - i.e. pathology electives, solid letters of recommendation, pathology-related externships, etc. Anatomic pathology is one of the few specialties that typically does not require a rotating internship - however, in exchange they often require a lot of proven investment in the field from their applicants.
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