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Important Path News!

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by GreatPumpkin, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    The length of pathology residency is about to change from 5 years to 4. Hope this sparks more interest. They are just working out the official timeframe for implementation then it will be common knowledge. I sure hope it applies to me since I am already in residency. Wooohooo.
     
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  3. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    1) Will we still be able to get credit for a prelim year in something else and finish path in 3 years when the residency becomes 4 years long instead of 5?

    2) What is your source of information that this change is already a done deal except for timing specifics?

    I am asking because I know several people who are waivering between path and other specialities. I would like to give them the heads up and I appreciate any further information that you can give us. :D

    Voxel - Sometimes it's not abnormal, but just volume averaging.
     
  4. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    Voxel,
    People will not be able to use the prelim year anymore for path when this takes effect. This will require all four years to be in path. And, let me tell you it would be hard to do in only 3 years. I wouldn't want it any shorter than four. If it was just Anatomic path yes, but not both anatomic path and clinical path.

    Our dept was sent notification last week from one of the governing organizations but i can't remember which one. I will check. Also, our residency director is on the commitee that is changing it.

    They are hoping to attract more US grads. And, there is no government funding for the 5th year anyway. So it makes financial sense as well.
     
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    Well now I've heard everything - weekends off, limited call, 50-60 hours per week and now, 1 less year! Sheesh...have you a spot for me?! ;)
     
  6. LR6SO4

    LR6SO4 Senior Member
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    GreatPumpkin,
    Could you give us an idea of the demand for pathologists? I know it probably varies based on location, but if you are aware of any general trends let me know...ie I want to practice in a RURAL area, definately Midwest.
    Thanks!
     
  7. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    Kimberly,
    Hi hope you are doing well. Been a while since we talked. You are more than welcome leave to the "Dark Side" and come into the light. :p We would be glad to have you.

    LR6SO4,
    Job market is getting better and better. Esp. for US grads. Some of the job offers from the rural midwest I have heard about are insane. Everyone in my program gets great jobs even in the tough years in the mid 1990s. I know it is hard to do, but don't worry about the job market. There are not many unemployed doctors in any specialty. And, the ones that are usually have a story to go with it. A resident in my program was offered $400,000 to go to Lubbock, TX. and $500,000 for Montana. These are not the norms. but, they are around.

    The normal starting salary is around $170-200 with partnership in 3 years. $250-400 when partner depending on the practice.
     
  8. Magree

    Magree Senior Member
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    Hi:

    Having path go from 5 to 4 years only helps a bit. Most people need to do a fellowship in order to be really employable - the job market is better but not great in many parts of the country and my understanding is that you compete w/ people who have one or more fellowships. So what the new residency structure does is allow you to get credit for a 5th year fellowship instead of needing it for certification - not to really do without it.

    M-
     
  9. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    I have to disagree with the statement that a fellowship is required. Maybe this was the case or is the case for certain areas of the country notably California. One of our residents who is planning on doing a cytology fellowship because that is what he is really interested in, has two groups in Florida trying to talk him out of it and come to work. Certainly if you do a fellowship it will increase your marketability, but I don't see it as a requirement especially if you are open to many different geographical locations.

    With the new system doing a fellowship your 5th year will make you board eligible for the fellowship. You will already be board eligible for your AP/CP at the end of your 4th.

    I was not planning on doing a fellowship, but now I may. Since I was already thinking 5 years I may do a Surgical Path fellowship. Since I am planning on working in a rural to small hospital subspecialization will not be as important.
     
  10. Magree

    Magree Senior Member
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    Hi GP:

    Yeah, I was speaking mostly to urban or popular places to live (like the coasts). Other areas you could get by w/ just AP/CP certification.

    M-
     
  11. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    Ok, Path sounds like the perfect specialty. Short hours, little call, weekends off, great salary, perhaps benefits.

    Why then is it so non-competitive?
     
  12. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    It is a mystery to me. I guess it is a many part problem.

    1. Most people who go to med school want more patient contact.

    2. The job market was very bad in the mid 1990s.

    3. Students do not rotate through path like other specialties. Most don't even know where the path department is in my hospital. And, many think the job is just like histo lab. Or that we do tons of autopsies.

    4. Five years is a long residency.

    5. Radiology attracts many of the people that may like path.

    6. probably some more but it is 4am and i am sleepy. :)

    I can't think of any "good" reason that it is not more popular. My lifestyle as a path intern is awesome compared to my classmates. My starting salary will be higher than all the primary care specialties. I just don't get the patient contact, but that is actually ok with me. It is substituted by the consultation role I play with clinicians.
     
  13. LR6SO4

    LR6SO4 Senior Member
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    This is from a very good residency program (I think) in the midwest (who's name shall not be mentioned but lets just say that they played Ohio State yesterday.....!). It is right from a professor I talked to personally so here goes:

    60% of practicing pathologists are over 55 years old...there will be a tremendous turnover in the next ten or fifteen years.

    Hmmmmmmm...loooking better!!
     
  14. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member
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    To go into pathology or not to go into pathology is a question that I am personally wrestling with. My "cons" of the specialty are:

    1) Little to no patient contact which seems exactly opposite to what I went into medical school for.

    2) Relatively slow turnaround on surg specimens (excluding frozens). While the results of these are extremely important, radiology tends to have a more immediate effect on patient care.

    3) My visual acuity has dramatically decreased after my post-sophomore fellowship year.

    4) Technological changes, particularly molecular biology and genetics are going to have a major real-time impact on the field. This will probably be both exciting and trying to people young in there pathology careers.

    5) Consolidation of pathologists into specialized consultation firms (check out the IMPATH website, a Fortune fastest grower) and telepathology will decrease the net number of pathologists which may off-set the retiring pathologist prediction. (A company called uropath allegedly handles 30% of all prostate biopsies!)

    6) Difficulty separating fact from fiction in regard to future job opportunities. Residency programs are desperate for American Grads. But to search various job-hunt sites, virtually no jobs are posted for pathologists (compare this to anesthesiologist listings!)

    These "cons" are all secondary to my biggest "pro": looking into a microscope and seeing the beautiful patterns that tell the story of how this tissue has been used when it was still a piece of a living breathing human.

    My advice for anyone considering path is to figure out if you like it first.

    Mindy :cool:
     
  15. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    I will comment on a couple of your points if you don't mind.

    3) My visual acuity has dramatically decreased after my post-sophomore fellowship year.

    Ouch, sorry.

    4) Technological changes, particularly molecular biology and genetics are going to have a major real-time impact on the field. This will probably be both exciting and trying to people young in there pathology careers.

    These will have major impacts on the field, but pathologists will control all these areas. And, just like immunohistochemistry these will tests will be used as add-ons in surg path for a long long time.

    5) Consolidation of pathologists into specialized consultation firms (check out the IMPATH website, a Fortune fastest grower) and telepathology will decrease the net number of pathologists which may off-set the retiring pathologist prediction. (A company called uropath allegedly handles 30% of all prostate biopsies!)

    It is happening but these companies cannot provide the customer support that having your local path group can provide. And, a hospital also has to have pathologists to oversee labs, blood bank and such. This is not only happening to path, but rads as well.

    6) Difficulty separating fact from fiction in regard to future job opportunities. Residency programs are desperate for American Grads. But to search various job-hunt sites, virtually no jobs are posted for pathologists (compare this to anesthesiologist listings!)

    It is tough to find path jobs on-line the only site that really has them is the College of American Pathology site which requires membership to access the area. Most jobs are found by word of mouth and networking. There will never be as many Path jobs as anest. the anest workforce outnumbers path probably 10 to 1 if you count CRNAs as well.

    --These "cons" are all secondary to my biggest "pro": looking into a microscope and seeing the beautiful patterns that tell the story of how this tissue has been used when it was still a piece of a living breathing human.


    This is a great pro. I always feel like I have a grand puzzle before me with each case sometimes with very little clinical info to go on, I can give definative answers to clicians most of the time. And, like she said make sure you like it no job is worth doing for 30 years if you will not be happy.

    And, just for another tidbit the number of US applicants has doubled at my program this year. I don't know exactly what that means for the big picture. But, interesting.
     
  16. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    Update:

    The people entering pathology in 2002 will be eligible to take the AP/CP board exam after four years. Unfortunately for me the 2001 folks will be required to complete five years.
     
  17. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Sorry Rob :( Timing is everything I guess!
     
  18. JPFL75

    JPFL75 Member
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    wow..I never thought about path before..but I think it just might suit my personality and what I'm looking for...
     
  19. pathres

    pathres Junior Member
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    Thanks to the Great Pumpkin for the update. The news is certainly disappointing for current residents though. Seems like when we (entering class of 2001) and the upcoming class finish residency, the job market will be very cut-throat, to say the least. :eek:
     
  20. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian
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    Rob-

    Is that 100% firm for implementation timeframe?

    Other news for people concidering Pathology, the field is attracting more and more people, this year sounds like it is shapping out to be a strong field of US grads...
    Have to wait untill march-april for the nrmp numbers but it seems like it going up again...
     
  21. LR6SO4

    LR6SO4 Senior Member
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    djmd,
    Are there any worries about an influx of American grads filling the job market up? Of course I have also heard that 60% of pathologists in Michigan are over 55 right now (from a path residency director). So I would guess that this is true elsewhere and there will be a BIG turnover here in a few years. Thoughts?
     
  22. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    The info is coming from my residency director who is personally involved in the decision. So I would say it is 99.9%. :)

    Though I normally don't worry about the job market the year that two classes graduate and are seeking jobs and fellowships at the same time will be an interesting year. Coming from a strong program like mine with the contacts the faculity have I still should have no trouble. This may be different if a resident is coming from other programs and/or if the person is a FMG.

    As far as the avg age of the pathologist goes, it is true that path avg age is very high. But, it is also true that these old path guys work forever. You should see some of the fossils we have working around here. :D Actually most of them are awesome, but there are a few.
     
  23. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian
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    LR6SO4-

    I dont think that the number of US grads will seriouslly affect the job market..

    the Job market gives good indications of opening up, people from strong programs shoudl do well...
     
  24. JPFL75

    JPFL75 Member
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    Pumpkin...I know posts about income and lifestyle have been posted in the past...however, are your claims about salaries in excess of 300-500k realistic?? Also the lifestyle and hours seem to good to be true... :D
     
  25. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    A partner in a large efficient group can make that much, also easily made by cytopath docs and especially dermpath. But, don't go into it for the money go into it because you love it or you will be sorry later.
     

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