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Who knows if I'll Match?
10+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2007
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I have also posted in the anesthesia (something else I'm kinda considering) and clinical rotation threads about my dilemma, but would like to hear from the path-gods (you folks) about the way things are going for me right now...
I have not enjoyed any of the rotations in third year (IM/Peds/Surg/ OB/Neuro) for various reasons, many of which have been cited in this forum by others (writing notes stinks, as does rounding x4+ hours, long hours in the OR, et al). I still have 3 wks Fmed, Rad Onc, Ortho surg, and 6 wks of psych left... I must admit that entering MS3 year I did not have Path high in my sights of possible career choices, but I have come to realize that pt contact and all the chores of the specialties I have seen so far are really not all that great (for me at least), not to mention the fact that after working a 70+ hour week, my mind is mush and I can't remember even the simple stuff that I once knew well... I did 3 wks of anesthesia early, thinking I would love it (quick results, physiology, pharmacology...) but I didn't (didnt really hate it, but I was expecting to be pretty much sold on the field..).

All this said, I do like disease processes, and I did very well in my MS2 path classes, very much enjoying reading a question, formulating what I thought was going on, and seeing the slide which would confirm one of my predictions and feeling comfortable with that answer. Additionally I have found the atmosphere on this board, and the demeanor of many of the pathology professors at my school to be very friendly and team-oriented, which is very attractive to me. I didn't rock the house in anatomy class (too much info in such a short time) but I didn't do horribly, I did well in histo, but didn't like it all that much (I think I found the normal stuff to be pretty boring, I know knowing normal is a necessary evil though..). You guys make path sound pretty cool, and I am pretty down right now nearing the end of my 3rd year, knowing residency aps will have to be submitted in 6-7 months and not feeling comfortable with really any of the options for residency that I have seen so far.... I fully intend to make an extreme effort to do a path rotation in july/aug/sept (there are only 4 slots per month block at my institution) to give it a look, also trying to shoehorn a rads experience in there too (something else I have had minimal exposure to)..
Any thoughts from you guys/gals would be appreciated, does it sound like path may be a fit for me? Do you see red flags in my story (meaning, no way, this guy has no business considering path), or green ones (why didnt he think of this sooner??). Feel free to ask for clarification, more info, I'm an open book. thanks to all readers as well :oops:


hmm...kinda sounds like me.

I don't think many people go into medicine in the first place because they're interested in being a pathologist.

For me, going into pathology was an exercise of exclusion. It became interesting enough and it got me to where I wanted to be.

No glaring surprises in your story. Keep giving path a serious thought. Maybe do a rotation...you may like it even more the second time around!


Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
Fixing in 10% neutral buffered formalin
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I wouldn't worry too much that you didn't like histo or anatomy. I didn't know what pathology was before I started med school. I picked it because I liked it more than anything else (far more).

Basically, you really need to do a path rotation early on, because that will be your deciding factor. No one can really tell you if path is the right fit, until you experience it yourself. A lot of people who are in path really liked clinical medicine, and a lot hated it. Path is a rather long residency and doesn't overlap much with much else, so if you don't like it, you're kind of screwed. While it is hard to tell if you are meant for a field after a one month experience, at the very least it will tell you if you enjoy it and can see yourself doing it.
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