Considering pathology for future career

tourocom2008

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Hello all,
I am a osteopathic third year who is considering pathology. I took the comlex and got a 600 but did not take the USMLE. Mostly honors in my classes. Do I have a decent chance at matching, especially with no USMLE and no research experience in med school? (also no published papers)
Also is pathology still worth it? I plan to have multiple kids (already have 1), and am coming out of this with like 225k in student debt and would like to be able to pay it off and find a job. I am not very geographically limited, but prefer the southeast (as in living somewhere cold is mostly a no go lol). I liked most of my rotations but just get kind of sick of regurgitating guidelines and seeing people all day everyday (I feel like I do my best work on my own and then can collaborate after it's done). I have good social skills it is not like I am antisocial just sometimes feel exhausted talking to people all day. I also am a lot more interested in the scientific aspects of medicine than the medicines/treatments. Any thoughts? Dont' think I am competitive enough for radiology and don't really want to do that anyways. Thank you.
 
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RE-Tired

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Have you been exposed to the pathology profession in any way? You need to do a serious rotation first at a hospital with a good residency before you make the decision. Any field is worth it if you have a passion for it.
 
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Med Director New England

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You would be competitive at plenty of path programs, but it sounds like you have to figure out what you really want to do.

see the many other threads on this board- pathology is currently one of the least competitive field Match in. Literally anyone can match.

I recommend you give IM some serious consideration. There are plenty of “ology” fellowships off of IM that would suit your desires to not see tons of patients every day in the typical office rat race. Plus if you did end up liking and being a front line PCP doc you could find plenty of employers who would wipe your 250 k loan.

GL
 
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Jester4321

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You would be competitive at plenty of path programs, but it sounds like you have to figure out what you really want to do.

see the many other threads on this board- pathology is currently one of the least competitive field Match in. Literally anyone can match.

I recommend you give IM some serious consideration. There are plenty of “ology” fellowships off of IM that would suit your desires to not see tons of patients every day in the typical office rat race. Plus if you did end up liking and being a front line PCP doc you could find plenty of employers who would wipe your 250 k loan.

GL
Thanks for the help! How do you feel about paying loans back as a pathogist?
 

mario2010

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Hello all,
I am a osteopathic third year who is considering pathology. I took the comlex and got a 600 but did not take the USMLE. Mostly honors in my classes. Do I have a decent chance at matching, especially with no USMLE and no research experience in med school? (also no published papers)
Also is pathology still worth it? I plan to have multiple kids (already have 1), and am coming out of this with like 225k in student debt and would like to be able to pay it off and find a job. I am not very geographically limited, but prefer the southeast (as in living somewhere cold is mostly a no go lol). I liked most of my rotations but just get kind of sick of regurgitating guidelines and seeing people all day everyday (I feel like I do my best work on my own and then can collaborate after it's done). I have good social skills it is not like I am antisocial just sometimes feel exhausted talking to people all day. I also am a lot more interested in the scientific aspects of medicine than the medicines/treatments. Any thoughts? Dont' think I am competitive enough for radiology and don't really want to do that anyways. Thank you.

Please do not get discouraged by reading all the doom and gloom posts on this forum. For some reason it’s always a strong negative sentiment here. Pathology is a great profession. Do a path rotation and see whether you will like the day to day practice of pathology. It’s true that job market is tight but its getting better over the last couple of years apart from this recent dip with Covid. Keep in mind that it will never be like primary care specialties or specialties with tight control in supply like derm, ENT etc, unless something drastic change with the path leadership. Its sadly true that right now there are more residency slots than what’s optimal. That being said, if you go to a decent program and are competent, you will get a job. Day to day practice of path is intellectually satisfying and work is low stress. Path compensation is in the middle of the road. I have friends in almost all specialties and grass tends to be greener on the other side. There is no lifestyle comparison b/w path and specialties like cardiology, CCM, ortho, Gen Surg etc. One of my interventional cards friend started his first job after literally 9 years of training with a starting salary of $350K and is already complaining of burn out. His call schedule is brutal with heavy STEMI calls. Compare that to what an average private practice path does and make your own opinion. He envies me when I go home at 3 PM and dont take calls. If you are geographically restricted and looking for more flexibility, something like FP or IM will prob be a better fit though and will be shorter than typical 5 years needed for path. Hope that helps.
 
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KeratinPearls

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Please do not get discouraged by reading all the doom and gloom posts on this forum. For some reason it’s always a strong negative sentiment here. Pathology is a great profession. Do a path rotation and see whether you will like the day to day practice of pathology. It’s true that job market is tight but its getting better over the last couple of years apart from this recent dip with Covid. Keep in mind that it will never be like primary care specialties or specialties with tight control in supply like derm, ENT etc, unless something drastic change with the path leadership. Its sadly true that right now there are more residency slots than what’s optimal. That being said, if you go to a decent program and are competent, you will get a job. Day to day practice of path is intellectually satisfying and work is low stress. Path compensation is in the middle of the road. I have friends in almost all specialties and grass tends to be greener on the other side. There is no lifestyle comparison b/w path and specialties like cardiology, CCM, ortho, Gen Surg etc. One of my interventional cards friend started his first job after literally 9 years of training with a starting salary of $350K and is already complaining of burn out. His call schedule is brutal with heavy STEMI calls. Compare that to what an average private practice path does and make your own opinion. He envies me when I go home at 3 PM and dont take calls. If you are geographically restricted and looking for more flexibility, something like FP or IM will prob be a better fit though and will be shorter than typical 5 years needed for path. Hope that helps.

Doom and gloom posts on here are mostly based off the tight job market which you agreed with. Pathology is a good to great profession if you enjoy it.
 
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Med Director New England

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Thanks for the help! How do you feel about paying loans back as a pathogist?
I didn’t have any where near the debt you have. But if I’d had that much I would have been struggling financially trying to pay it off and pay for all the other costs of life including raising kids. Plenty of junior pathologists start under 200k annual salary and stay there a while. And this is after 6 yrs of training — 2 years of fellowship has become the industry norm.
 
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Iceman24

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Please do not get discouraged by reading all the doom and gloom posts on this forum. For some reason it’s always a strong negative sentiment here. Pathology is a great profession. Do a path rotation and see whether you will like the day to day practice of pathology. It’s true that job market is tight but its getting better over the last couple of years apart from this recent dip with Covid. Keep in mind that it will never be like primary care specialties or specialties with tight control in supply like derm, ENT etc, unless something drastic change with the path leadership. Its sadly true that right now there are more residency slots than what’s optimal. That being said, if you go to a decent program and are competent, you will get a job. Day to day practice of path is intellectually satisfying and work is low stress. Path compensation is in the middle of the road. I have friends in almost all specialties and grass tends to be greener on the other side. There is no lifestyle comparison b/w path and specialties like cardiology, CCM, ortho, Gen Surg etc. One of my interventional cards friend started his first job after literally 9 years of training with a starting salary of $350K and is already complaining of burn out. His call schedule is brutal with heavy STEMI calls. Compare that to what an average private practice path does and make your own opinion. He envies me when I go home at 3 PM and dont take calls. If you are geographically restricted and looking for more flexibility, something like FP or IM will prob be a better fit though and will be shorter than typical 5 years needed for path. Hope that helps.
Average length of training in path is 6 years, 4 years of residency plus 2 fellowships, and this is not anecdotal, the data from multiple ASCP surveys telling us that.
As for the compensation the highest paid pathologist I know personally makes less then lowest paid primary care doc I know personally, and these are people fresh out of training.
 
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KeratinPearls

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Average length of training in path is 6 years, 4 years of residency plus 2 fellowships, and this is not anecdotal, the data from multiple ASCP surveys telling us that.
As for the compensation the highest paid pathologist I know personally makes less then lowest paid primary care doc I know personally, and these are people fresh out of training.

Agree starting salaries are low/depressed from what I’ve seen. 180-210K (what my friends got) is low considering 6 years of training. Some cops with only a college education make 120k with higher ranked cops making 250 plus.

Depending on the job your salary can increase incrementally every year however if it’s a partnership track position.
 
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