path vs rads

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Hey guys im an MS4, who is unsure of which specialty to pick between path or rads

I recently posted a thread in radiology forum and it's a little embarrassing to copy paste the same post in different forum, but I think it would be better to get some perspective from here as well

so here goes it

Im currently leaning toward pathology because i enjoy histology(im a visual person) and being able to interpret the slides. I rotated in surgical pathology and i wasnt necessarily a fan of grossing specimen but i was able to just do them and the anticipation of what would it look like on the slide next day made me keep going at it. i thrive in an environment where i get to have time and space to introspect, which i believe is an unique part of pathology. I also generally like learning about diseases so even though i may get overwhelmed by the amount of studying during residency, i believe i will be able to get through it.

A lot of times, i feel pretty confident about applying to pathology, but sometimes i wonder if i should apply to radiology because to be honest, i like looking at radiographs a little more than reading slides. They are cooler to look at. Also, some of the reasons im applying to path would also apply to radiology (visual, like to study pathophysiology). But from reading student doc, to be a successful radiologist, it seems like you generally need to be a quick person. For example, a lot of my colleagues, who are applying to radiology, are quick thinkers and often are first or second out of 200 to turn in their test. On the other hand i tend to need to spend a lot more time so most of the times i end up turning in exams at the opposite end. So even though i like radiographs more than slides, because job has to be combo of interest and talent, i feel like i will be better off applying to path because of that liking to take my time.

Would you guys say that I have a reasonable rationale?
 

Unty

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Hey guys im an MS4, who is unsure of which specialty to pick between path or rads

I recently posted a thread in radiology forum and it's a little embarrassing to copy paste the same post in different forum, but I think it would be better to get some perspective from here as well

so here goes it

Im currently leaning toward pathology because i enjoy histology(im a visual person) and being able to interpret the slides. I rotated in surgical pathology and i wasnt necessarily a fan of grossing specimen but i was able to just do them and the anticipation of what would it look like on the slide next day made me keep going at it. i thrive in an environment where i get to have time and space to introspect, which i believe is an unique part of pathology. I also generally like learning about diseases so even though i may get overwhelmed by the amount of studying during residency, i believe i will be able to get through it.

A lot of times, i feel pretty confident about applying to pathology, but sometimes i wonder if i should apply to radiology because to be honest, i like looking at radiographs a little more than reading slides. They are cooler to look at. Also, some of the reasons im applying to path would also apply to radiology (visual, like to study pathophysiology). But from reading student doc, to be a successful radiologist, it seems like you generally need to be a quick person. For example, a lot of my colleagues, who are applying to radiology, are quick thinkers and often are first or second out of 200 to turn in their test. On the other hand i tend to need to spend a lot more time so most of the times i end up turning in exams at the opposite end. So even though i like radiographs more than slides, because job has to be combo of interest and talent, i feel like i will be better off applying to path because of that liking to take my time.

Would you guys say that I have a reasonable rationale?
Im warning you that people on here will tell you to go to rads because of the crappy pathology job market.

In pathology, you will have to be quick with making a call on a frozen section and diagnosing biopsies. There is something called turnaround time. More complicated cases you can hold onto before signing it out.

Really depends whether you can see yourself looking at histology down a microscope versus looking at imaging in the dark for the rest of your life. Some attendings dont even gross (at least some of the academics in my training program didnt) and in some private practice positions, you can be looking at slides all day without grossing. Other positions require you to gross.

Having said that, grossing is an important art in pathology.

Also, I believe radiology you have to learn physics as well for the boards?

Clinical pathology is also a part of our training if you choose AP/CP. So you will learn how to manage a lab and you will have to study microbiology, chemistry, blood banking for your boards if you take the AP/CP route. There is no intern year in path, unlike in radiology where you have to do a transitional or preliminary year of medicine or surgery.

Id say go for the field you are more passionate with. To get good at either of them you will be spending a lot of time at the microscope and reading (pathology) or in the darkroom, looking CTs/MRI and reading. I wouldnt worry as much about being quick. Just like anything, you will get better with time and practice. Both are different although they are visual fields. Try pullling up some path or radiology books in your library and see which one you are more fascinated with. Good luck.
 
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WEBB PINKERTON

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You better be prepared to be productive regardless of what field you choose. Nobody wants to employ someone who can't carry their weight.

Not sure I would recommend either field. In my territory the local rad groups are being replaced with radiology's version of Ameripath.
 
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Mace1370

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Would you recommend primary care over these two fields for job security purposes in the future? Primary care also seems scary to me due to NP/PAs being able to independently practice in a lot of states.
Just my opinion, but going into primary care seems like a surefire way to become very unhappy. Apart from encroachment by the aforementioned midlevels, you have increasing "productivity" requirements from hospitals/insurance/medicare as well as increasing amounts of red tape to wade through. If you go into internal medicine it seems like a requirement to do one of the more competitive fellowships to avoid the midlevel nonsense (such as GI or cards), but I a admit to having a superficial understanding of that dynamic.

My recommendation is go do the field you enjoy the most. If you are a US MD, are good at your job, reasonably outgoing and social normal, and speak English well I think you will be able to get a job in pathology just fine.
 
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path vs rads

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Thanks guys for the replies guys. I believe I had pre-application anxiety attack or something. Yeah, I can imagine myself being able to look at millions of slides, but not so much with radiographs. I think I'm headed to the right pathway.
Ahh I could never do primary care. It would just make me really really sad if I were forced to do it :(
Thanks again guys!
 

yaah

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If you have experienced both and seen what they offer, I think you probably have a good idea of how you will fit in each. There are similarities, although radiology does offer more opportunities to do procedures (which many people care about). There are lots of previous threads on this topic, "similar threads" as seen below, advice still generally applies. Stuff like compensation and job duties have changed over the years but the major difference now is that the radiology job market has gotten a lot tighter. Pathology may have stayed about constant, or gotten even tighter, I am not really sure.
 

scootad.

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The radiology job market has made a turnaround. From 2010-2015 it was dismal, with few partnership track jobs anywhere and none in desirable locales. But in the past 12 months its gotten much better. I know from experience (I am an attending rad in charge of hiring). There has been a big change.
 

Tissue issue

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The radiology job market has made a turnaround. From 2010-2015 it was dismal, with few partnership track jobs anywhere and none in desirable locales. But in the past 12 months its gotten much better. I know from experience (I am an attending rad in charge of hiring). There has been a big change.
Did you cut residency slots?
 
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path vs rads

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If you have experienced both and seen what they offer, I think you probably have a good idea of how you will fit in each. There are similarities, although radiology does offer more opportunities to do procedures (which many people care about). There are lots of previous threads on this topic, "similar threads" as seen below, advice still generally applies. Stuff like compensation and job duties have changed over the years but the major difference now is that the radiology job market has gotten a lot tighter. Pathology may have stayed about constant, or gotten even tighter, I am not really sure.
It is an honor to get a reply from you, yaah
I actually haven't taken a radiology elective yet, so it took me some leap of faith to apply to pathology (application has been submitted).
I do think that I should take a radiology elective, but my question is would it be okay to rotate during the interview season, which might end up affecting my "I love pathology" mentality(valid concern?), or should I wait until the end of interview season?
I'm comfortable taking it later because even if I rotate in radiology next month, I feel like I would be too late to apply to radiology anyways.
 

turtle1966

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The radiology job market has made a turnaround. From 2010-2015 it was dismal, with few partnership track jobs anywhere and none in desirable locales. But in the past 12 months its gotten much better. I know from experience (I am an attending rad in charge of hiring). There has been a big change.
Once, so was Anesthesiology. No longer, I hear. Not the case with Pathology, I hear.
 
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yaah

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It is an honor to get a reply from you, yaah
I actually haven't taken a radiology elective yet, so it took me some leap of faith to apply to pathology (application has been submitted).
I do think that I should take a radiology elective, but my question is would it be okay to rotate during the interview season, which might end up affecting my "I love pathology" mentality(valid concern?), or should I wait until the end of interview season?
I'm comfortable taking it later because even if I rotate in radiology next month, I feel like I would be too late to apply to radiology anyways.
You will learn important things even if you don't go into the field. My 4th year I did not do a lot of pathology electives, because I was going into pathology. I did stuff that would be good to learn about or I was interested in, like Heme/Onc, Derm, Cardiology.

That's like people who are doing a hemepath fellowship and then spend all their residency elective time doing hemepath. It's kind of idiotic unless your plans only involve 100% pure hemepath in your career.