OK - in addition to the links I posted in the "info websites" thread... We at our program met today with Dr Silva in the context of a visiting professorship day (Dr Silva is an expert in renal pathology - medical renal disease, that is) who formerly was chair at Oklahoma and now works at Emory (I think Emory) but is also the Secretary/treasurer and Executive Director of the USCAP. So he knows what he's talking about. During lunch he gave us a presentation on job related issues which was kind of interesting. So, I was thinking of you all and asked like 5 questions, which constituted 5/7 of all the questions people in my program asked him during that talk. So - some numbers he gave us (some are estimates based on what I remember, some are more direct quotes) In 1999-2000, apparently this was the "low point" for finding a job for graduating path residents. The average number of job offers per resident at graduation was 1.2. Last year, it was about 2.5-3. His overall conclusion based on the data and his position - the job market is very good and is improving. He does say that "unless you are 100.0%" (he added in the .0) "sure you want to do academics, you should do AP/CP," although he did add that perhaps this may shift in the future. In terms of the pending "glut" in new pathologists in 2006 when the 5 year requirement/4 year requirement classes overlap and both graduate, he says he has talked to department chairs and private practice people all over the country (this is his job) and the uniform opinion is that there will not be trouble finding a job. However - he added that 62% of people doing the hiring are interested in subspecialty training - specifically in cyto, hemepath, derm, GI, GYN. He says Surgical Path is not necessarily considered subspecialty training, but it will not hurt you to do a fellowship in it. I specifically asked him about dermpath, because according to his numbers there are 43 programs around the country approved to do dermpath fellowships, and 43 spots. However, there are 68 APPROVED spots, which means either that the programs are not finding qualified applicants (highly unlikely IMHO) or that they are not using this funding to fund actual fellowship spots. He could not provide any more info on why this was so. The # of cyto and hemepath spots continues to grow and both will be in demand. Interestingly, along with this "62%" looking for subspecialty training, only 23% are looking for people with a background in research, and only 16% are looking for strong record of publications. Thus - the lesson - do research if you want and it is a goal of yours - but don't do it to get a job. Work hours: The average path worked 45-50 hours/week. about 65% of this time in surg path, 20% in CP and management, and 10% in cytology. 64% of private practice people do not have anything to do with autopsies (I thought it was higher). The trend is increasing time in AP and cyto, and much less in CP. His conclusion - they want people who can cover CP but CP-only private practice jobs are rare. Important things to those doing the hiring (I found this fascinating): Rate the importance of the following on a scale from 0-100, 100 being the most important. These are the ones I remember: 98: Interpersonal skills 98: Communication 90-95 (somewhere around there): Diagnostic abilities 77: Where you did residency 36: Where you went to medical school 36: How you do on evaluating unknown slides at the time of your interview. In regards to "where you do residency" he said that this matters a lot when looking for private practice jobs because of networking. The best jobs are not advertised, and if you go to residency in Texas and want a private practice job in Southern Cal it might be tougher for you to find the best situation. Job issues: The "standard" for workload for years has been recommended to be 1500-2000 surgical specimens per pathologist per year. However, at many private practice institutions this is approaching 10,000 (which he said was rare). However, the 1500-2000 is edging up to an average of 2500-3000. I did not ask him about salaries. He also mentioned the future job market. He said molecular path is going to become more important, and there is a minority of individuals out there who think that path is going to move away from microscopy and towards computer screens. But he stressed that this is a minority opinion. He said the job market looks good for years to come. I asked him specifically about the number of pathology residency spots (about 480 per year) and whether this number was adequate, too much, not enough, or going to change. His reply: Numbers of positions were decreased years ago because of an anticipated glut in physicians in all specialties. And now there is a pending shortage. There is not going to be a glut of pathologists for the next 20-30 years. I asked him about "ameripath" and other such assembly line types of jobs - and whether his info on # of job offers per resident, etc, was based a lot on subpar and less desirable jobs. While he said that those jobs do exist, they are not the majority, nor does he believe they are a growing trend. He said that he does not believe there will be a great deal of consolidation in regards to giant conglomerates taking over small practices. he said there is definitely a trend towards moving away from 2 man practices and solo practices towards 5-6 person practices. Small groups are consolidating, i.e.. So I don't think we all have to worry about turning into automatons as in the 1930s movie "metropolis." His thoughts on academia vs private practice: He is a lifelong academic, although he has been tempted to go into private practice - although he admitted that he has been offered jobs in the past which were pulled off the table when he told them he was not CP boarded. Now, because he is famous, it is a different story, but he still likes academics and is sticking there. He thinks academics is a great career - and there is much more of a "safety net" in regards to making tough diagnoses (i.e. there is always someone more senior to ask questions of). So, take all this for what it's worth. But I tend to trust the opinions and views of someone in his position (who spends his days traveling around the country, talking to different path departments and residents, and dealing with administrative issues like this) much more than individual malcontents who tell us that the job market is miserable because of either a personal difficulty or secondhand hearsay "evidence." This is of course not to say that everyone is going to find a job with ease. Of course it's going to be difficult for some, and the sum of the whole does not necessarily equate to the individual. I just think we need to get our heads out of the whole "the present situation is bleak, and the only thing worse is the future" type of whining. No doubt someone will post about how this guy they know heard about someone who graduated from a prestigious program and took a job for 80k in Duluth because that's all he could get. Well, ok then.