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How to prepare for Pathology residency

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by hzma, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. hzma

    hzma Member
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    Hey everyone,
    I might have a month off before starting residency (hopefully). So if that happens I really want to try and prepare for residency during that time. Do you have any good suggestions? For example, books to read or things to see or listen to?
     
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  3. AngryTesticle

    AngryTesticle Happy Gonad
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    Yeah, some of us raised this very question last year. My suggestion...enjoy the month because when residency starts, you'll be learning plenty. Those who told us that the learning curve is steep are absolutely correct. I didn't know jack about pathology when I came in and I learned so much during the first few months. I never felt that not reading or preparing the months prior to the start of residency was detrimental.
     
  4. stormjen

    stormjen Path PGY
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    I would try to read Robbins cover to cover. Then in residency you can move on to Rosai and Sternberg. It's kind of embarrassing when you're getting pimped as a Path resident and can't remember something basic you learned in your Path class during med school.
     
  5. miko2005

    miko2005 Senior Member
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    When do the path residencies normally start? Is there any flexibility in the start dates?

    Thanks!
     
  6. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Not unless you have an issue that is impossible to change - like you are 9 months pregnant.

    All residencies around the country start July 1. Some have you come a week or even two beforehand for orientation (often for residents from every specialty). Some do not.
     
  7. AngryTesticle

    AngryTesticle Happy Gonad
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    Yeah, realize that you have to do hospital orientation and departmental orientation stuff. You may be lucky and your program may have you start work after the July 4th holiday.
     
  8. deschutes

    deschutes Thing
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    Residency is like starting med school all over again. And this time, no summer holidays! ;)

    Start dates are really up to the individual program. We have a fair number of off-cycle residents here, but like yaah says you'd still have to have a pretty strong reason.
     
  9. hzma

    hzma Member
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    Thanks everyone!
    I was looking up the books, like Sternberg, Rosai, Lester and Robbins, and they are so expensive! Is there any place you know that i could get them cheaper? Especially since i know most places don't give a book fund more than 100- 300$ a year esp for PGY-1?
    Thanks!
     
  10. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    You can check them out of the library. Or you can probably find an older version. For a lot of things not much changes. The new books talk a lot more about impox and molecular issues, etc, but basic descriptions don't change, and in fact sometimes deteriorate with new editions. For good descriptions of morphology the best books are often the much older editions.
     
  11. cytoborg

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    Agreed. Enjoy the time while you can. Anyhow, I'm not sure there really is a way to "prepare for residency." Even if you did read, it's very different to read about things in the abstract than when you've put them into practice and developed a context. Robbins might be a bit more relevant to you at this point (though I've read the Robbins chapter on breast about five times now and still only half of it sticks...damn), but it's by no means necessary to do any kind of reading prior to July 1.
     
  12. Doctor B.

    Doctor B. Slappin' That Glass
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    I agree with Cytoborg and AngryTesticle, enjoy your time off. Travel, do something fun. You may not get that much time off at once ever again.
     
  13. hzma

    hzma Member
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    Thanks all, I appreciate it!
    Listen, I was wondering, if we come to sign a contract, should we consult a lawyer first? Is there something we should look out for when starting residency? I mean , law wise?

    I might be travelling abroad sometime before residency, so I want to be aware of everything so when I come back, I know what to do. (I'm also a chronic worrier as you can see, never too early to start worrying!) :)
     
  14. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    You could if you want, but it would be a waste of money, in my opinon. A hospital generally uses the same contract for all the residents. They will not change it for you if you don't like something. My resident contract is pretty basic nothing tough enough to understand that would require a lawyer.
     
  15. drPLUM

    drPLUM Got your tickets?
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    Unless you get one of those 26 week vacation jobs that LADocOO is always talking about. :)
     
  16. hzma

    hzma Member
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    Ha Ha! You guys are great!
    The problem: all I do is worry worry worry... I haven't even started yet and I'm already worrying about law issues and how to study for the boards!

    Thanks a million yall, for yr support, too!
     
  17. cytoborg

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    Nah, no lawyer is necessary, as most contracts are pretty standard. But it is still wise to review a sample contract from each program prior to finalizing your ROL. (Don't wait till after the Match because at that point the cow is already out of the barn and you must sign the contract, like it or not.) It's an NRMP requirement that programs provide you with a sample contract before the Match - you probably got them during your interviews or they may have mailed them out. If there is something in there you don't like, then take that into account when ranking programs.
     
  18. deschutes

    deschutes Thing
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    Residency contracts are mostly unremarkable. Mine was pretty easy to understand. I had a lawyer I know look it over for free (same person who asks me about rashes and blood pressure etc.) :) and there was nothing to catch their eye.

    Go travel! And don't even think of taking Robbins with you :p
     
  19. AngryTesticle

    AngryTesticle Happy Gonad
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    Never read my contract.

    I'm going to be a pathologist.
     
  20. deschutes

    deschutes Thing
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    ...as opposed to...?
     
  21. Doctor B.

    Doctor B. Slappin' That Glass
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    As opposed to just an Angry Testicle :)
     
  22. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    I've done some FNAs on a few Angry Testicles over the last couple of years. hehe.
     
  23. AngryTesticle

    AngryTesticle Happy Gonad
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    Get that damn needle away from mah nut! You're upsetting it.
     
  24. deschutes

    deschutes Thing
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    "Upsetting it"? It's already upset.
     
  25. AngryTesticle

    AngryTesticle Happy Gonad
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    I just sayin'...there is no need to further upset the already furious gonad.

    It's kinda like the line..."Quit while you're ahead." The flip side is "Don't make things worse than they already are." :laugh:
     
  26. uhoh!

    uhoh! Phobophile
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    To get back to the point of the thread..
    I will be having about 1 month off before residency begins. I plan to relax/ travel etc etc.

    However, I also wanted to begin to collect the books I would need to begin residency on the right foot, and gather a sustainable momentum asap. I went through Med School foolishly-doing a lot of last minute stuff esp in the early years. I do not want to repeat my mistakes...Robbins-check. Others(Eg. Rosai vs Silverberg, DDx in Surg Path..)? Should I order now, or should I wait till the month before I begin? Is there any point of doing a basic Anat/Histo text as well?
     
  27. AngryTesticle

    AngryTesticle Happy Gonad
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    Don't buy anything for now. Use the resources in your residency program and see what book you like best before you buy anything.

    I used to like Sternberg a lot better than Rosai. Now I like Rosai better. I'm gonna buy neither at this point. I don't own any books and I'm managing just fine. There is no need for you to jump the gun and waste your precious money buying some book you may regret later.
     
  28. deschutes

    deschutes Thing
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    I agree with AngryAndy, wait for the book fund to kick in. For a variety of reasons. There isn't a set booklist for residency, and you will find yourself talking to your fellow residents and attendings and browsing the residents' library and seeing what you like best. There is time.

    To illustrate -
    Even with my book fund (and we are getting an increase in July! :clap: ) I am still taking things slow. I just bought my 2nd bookfund-book - Clinical Lab Pearls by Steven Jones and even then I thought and polled a lot of people first. The first was the WHO hematolymphoid book because I was on hemepath.

    Out-of-pocket I bought Rosai, mostly because it was dirt cheap (1/3rd of Amazon listed price) where I was, and the new Wheater's because I wanted stupid-fool-basic histopath. I plan to acquire the by-now-not-so-new Robbins and the accompanying Pocket quite soon.

    How often do I read these books? Hardly :D But I've been on 3 months of blood bank and am in my first month of a 3-month Clin Chem stretch.

    Don't collect before you need to. Think about how little you read the books you currently have :)
     
  29. AngryTesticle

    AngryTesticle Happy Gonad
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    I'm not Andy anymore.
    My sentiments exactly! Why buy something if you're not gonna use it. Might as well buy it when you think you're gonna use the book...who knows, maybe a new edition will come out by then.
     
  30. hzma

    hzma Member
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    What about a laptop guys?

    Do you think I need a laptop for residency? What sort of stuff should I be looking for?

    Thanks!
     
  31. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    Hear is a pearl you simply wont hear...want the most efficient, effective and simple way of preparing for general surg path rotations while multitasking??

    Get the Hopkins atlas CD. Install it on a laptop, it is a big program. (oh, step 1: find someone with a burnt copy)

    Dont do the atlas, do the test sections. There are an insane number of basic/intermediate/advanced cases (I wanna say 1000s, it took me like 12-20 straight hours to get through em).

    This will build your baby pathologist's eye VASTLY quicker than verbose reading text. Go through it 2-3x until you can nail every case (and some are HARD, even for me).

    Now, you are doing this at a coffee house, preferably one with cute singles. In between sections, scan the room. Try to make eye contact with coeds on the adjoining table, any premeds? Great, ask her/him if he wants to see a rare monophasic synovial sarcoma, throw out a little 411 on it, act smooth.
    Then ask what field he/she wants to go into, ohh you are interested in derm eh? Here is a case of a drug eruption...

    Then get the digits, casual dont be too pushy.

    Wait until she leaves, rinse and repeat.

    ...and you have prepared for both residency and improved on your social life...
     
  32. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    Read my response, basic histo is very good and I would find a CD test system for it and do that. My opinion is train the eye first and foremost, then worrying about reading the details for board prep.

    Folks, it takes YEARS of doing path in my opinion before you can really appreciate using texts like Rosai as anything more than occasional reference esp. when you are getting pounded by clinical work as an intern/2nd year. No one sits down and reads Rosai cover to cover as a 1st year, that is ******ed.

    When you present a case to an attending, focus on knowing just 4-5 quick details about the entity, fo example: a case of cervical dysplasia on cerv bx: grade, prior paps, histological features of squamous dysplasia in general, maybe a small blurb on high risk HPV types to sound educated, next step in clinical management (usually cone). That it is. You dont need to a massive tome at this stage to understand the philosophies of why this is that and that is this.

    If anything, read and use Essentials of AP.
     
  33. CameronFrye

    CameronFrye Senior Member
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    Have you ever seen "Histology for Pathologists" by Sternberg? Any thoughts on it?
     
  34. CameronFrye

    CameronFrye Senior Member
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    Holy crap. That hopkins atlas runs 2 grand :eek:

    How about this? You send me a copy and I'll give you fitty dollas?
     
  35. deschutes

    deschutes Thing
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  36. 2005

    2005 Member
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    I agree. Don't buy anything now. Some programs will purchase first year books for you. Some programs will allow you to use book fund money for a computer or even supply you with one. Library books are great. It gives you a chance to decide if/what you want to buy. I buy stuff through B&N. I have an annual membership so I get 10% off of everything. Then periodically I get a coupon for an additional 15-20% off, so I got $100 off when I bought Rosai.

    If you feel the need to use your time constructively before starting residency, take step 3 and get it out of the way.

    Beware. I expected to start July 1st. Instead I had to show up June 21st. That was 9 glorius summer days I felt cheated out of just so I could get certified in BLS/ACLS for one last time, in addition to many other high quality sessions not related to path residency.

    If you have to move, I highly recommend taking care of any personal things like opening bank accounts or any of that kind of stuff before residency starts. You can count on atleast 3 months before having enough time to do anything other than the basics (eat, sleep, take an occasional shower).
     
  37. uhoh!

    uhoh! Phobophile
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    Check!
    (Sorry, but can't quit gloating :p Really good point, though.)
    Good points..Is it wise to hold getting a car till I see how much I wil be using it? I plan on living in the on-campus housing if provided, or as close as safe. If all I will be doing is basics, should I get a car if I can walk to work? Seems a waste of $$ better spent making Messers. Guinness & Co. richer than they already are..

    Also, any advice on New v/s Pre-owned? Seems more sensible to get a 1-2 year old car, seeing the tremendous depreciation almost as soon as you drive it off the lot...Or am I over-thinking this?
     
  38. gungho

    gungho gungho
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    Do you know the exact name of the CD? I e-mailed Hopkins path and they referred me to bookstore-hard to sort through that site. Thanks.
     
  39. deschutes

    deschutes Thing
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    Another tip: Don't lose all existing copies of your CV in the course of your moving to a different city/state/country/email address.

    :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  40. gungho

    gungho gungho
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    no kiddin'-in fact, i would reccommend you keep copies of EVERYTHING from here on out-when i applied for a license in the state of my residency, after some years of practice, i had to go back and dig up info on organizations i had previously worked for that were no longer in existence, plus liability insurance companies, etc., etc. if it's medical related, keep it, file it, and organize it.
     

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