Discussion in 'Pathology' started by mprover, May 4, 2003.
Is it common, or at all feasable for a DO to specialize in pathology?
Sure, why not? As with anything else, DO's might have it a little tougher than MD's in terms of getting particular jobs or residencies, but that goes for any specialty.
Sure DOs go into path. My program is taking 3 this year.
2 of them spent a month with us last year, so this really increased their chances.
Absolutely!! There are plenty of DOs in path and the MD residency directors I've spoken with seem to have no prejudice about DOs. Yay!!
Lots of DO's go into Path. What about your pathology professors? Of course you might be at one of the schools that have only MD pathology course directors/ intstructors ( HEATHENS!).
I am Pathology course director at UMDNJ-SOM, only one of our pathologists here and in the Hospital is an MD. While there are no DO pathology residencies remaining, there is no restriction to DO's taking MD programs.
I'm curious to know which DO schools most of the DO pathology residents attended for their medical training.
Despite a slight upswing in the popularity of path in the last few years, path is one of the easiest residencies to get, and so any american medical school graduate(DO or MD) can enter some program with passing board scores. So path is very DO friendly. These days though, pretty much any field except small selective
fields like derm and urology are DO friendly.
Pathology is also IMG friendly. The non-competitiveness of path probably stems from several factors. Pathologists don't generally see patients, do procedures, or write prescriptions. Many people don't even realize pathologists are real doctors that have gone to medical school. Why non-IR radiologists don't face this same problem amongst the general public is puzzling. Everyone understand that radiologist=md/do but many people assume pathologist=phd/basic scientist type.
Another factor may be the compensation in pathology. A lot of the average salaries you see in surveys do not reflect what the job market will be like for those about to complete or start residencies. A good number of older pathologists did very well in the 70s and 80s when reimbursement structures in the field were far more favorable. Many were able to buy into and run their own labs and therefore collect fees a number of different ways. I work for a large pathology group in the southeast(I am not a pathologist) and I know that a few of the older partners are making 300k+ even though their productivity when it comes to surgical path isn't that great. The younger paths are under the scope much more yet are probably averaging 115-140k. Not bad, but their hours are only good(probably 50-55 week) and not great. For the most part, I think pathology offers IM/FP type money, but the advantage with IM and FP is that there are more jobs and you can generally work in the area you want to. There are jobs in path(don't let a few web sites tell you there aren't), but you probably won't be able to choose exactly where you want to live. Some areas of pathology, especially forensics, pay even less than FP. Remember that compensation today is mostly tied to procedures, and pathologists don't do any procedures on patients. Once reimbursement rates for CT and MRI's fall to reasonable levels, radiology will be in a similar position unless something new comes along.
Many of the pathologists I work around seem to like their jobs. A few don't. It's probably that way in about every field though....
Would you mind shedding some light on your background? You speak as though you are an authority on pathology, yet you are not a pathologist. By the way, I would rather spend 100 hrs a week in pathology than 50 hours a week in IM.
I've been working as a Pathology assistant for almost 3 years at one practice. I will start medical school in a few months. If you love pathology, then go for it!!
This forum has been my saving grace for getting information, so I thought I would tap into some of the path brains and get more. During your interviews, did you encounter any DO students and if so, what programs were interviewing them? Also, do you have any knowledge of them matching? I have a very strong interest in path and have been extensively researching my options as a DO, however, I do not know what programs are DO friendly or not. I do not want to post this as DO's in Path, because I know that there are a number, but I want to know what programs seriously consider DO's for their spots and carry out their interests by interviewing them and subsequantly ranking them. Just as an FYI, I have taken USMLE, have LOR's from Pathologists as well as from directors of departments, etc.
I have pretty high expectations and will be doing electives at places I am seriously considering, i.e., MGH, Mt. Sinai, GW, etc. and was wondering if anyone had any insight. Posting this on DO forums always gets the typical, "programs look at the person not the degree," but in all honesty I am not really sure top programs in any specialty actually carry out this philosophy.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
I am also interested in the answer to this question as I am applying to medical schools this cycle and have an interest in pathology (current cytotech). I will most likely apply to both allo and DO schoools.
I can give you a partial response - I posted this earlier as well, but on my MGH interview there was a DO student who as far as I could tell wasn't "anything more" than a good student (I mean, not a PHD as well, no huge long resume, etc). Now I don't know of any DO's in major programs, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I have seen, even in IM programs here at UMass, that the list of residents often just calls DOs MDs (out of ignorance, who knows).
At my other interviews I was usually the only one, so I don't know exactly if they interview DOs. I would imagine it isn't limited. I know UMass interviewed a couple.
The truth is - you won't know unless you apply. If you apply and have a good application, you will be considered. MDs have advantages but they are looking for good candidates. In general, DOs don't apply to path as commonly as MDs, so what you are looking for may be hard to find. The worst that can happen is a program rejects you and doesn't offer an interview. You should probably get a better feel when you are doing your elective rotations.
As trite as it is to say, it's more about the individual candidate than the two letters after their name.
Any other responses should be posted, as I only have limited info and don't want this to be the last word, by any means.
I'm not a DO, but here's a little more info:
A DO-to-be who went into the 2004 Match told me that Vermont does not take DOs.
The same person interviewed at Dartmouth, Ohio State, and a place in Colorado (sorry, I can't remember where.)
Finally, I know there is currently a DO resident at Ohio State.
You could probably find out quickly by calling or emailing the residency program administrators and asking if their program considers DO candidates. (I think some may only consider DOs only if they've taken the USMLE.)
To respond to your original question about "D.O. friendly path programs": I am a D.O pathologist who trained at an allopahtic residency and fellowship. I also mentor several D.O. students, a few of which go into path. I honestly don't think that there is a huge anti-D.O. bias out there (as there used to be). The students that I know who have just been through the match told me that the vast majority of programs really didn't care whether an applicant was D.O. or M.D. There were rare exceptions (UVA is one that comes to mind). Frankly, I feel that if a program has a big issue of you being from a D.O. school, you're better off not going there. It tells me that they are massively insecure and feel the need to bash someone in order to validate themselves. Kinda pathetic.
Pathology is overall not very competitive (at least in terms of getting a decent residency). I really wouldn't sweat the D.O. thing if I were you.
Im a DO who successfully went through this years match.
I can give you information from my experience from year
3 electives through the match.
please feel free to email me.
Hey I was just wondering if it is necessary to take the USMLE to match in Pathology if you are an osteopathic medical student.
Short answer: No. There really is no good reason for a D.O. applying to path programs to take the USMLE. The COMPLEX will suffice just fine. Remember, we're not talking about a super competitive residency here.
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