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Looking For Work In A Path Lab

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Thaitanium, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member
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    Well, I am looking to get path experience by working in a path lab. I was wondering...will any path lab do (at a community hospital vs. a University hospital)? Along with the everyday experience of being a pathologist, I am also looking to learn at the same time (looking at slides discussing them with the pathologist), so I could gain some knowledge before I start residency.

    Also, do you guys and gals know of what positions are available and what sorts of things can I do with an MD degree?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
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  3. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian
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    ?

    You have your MD and you want to work before residency?
     
  4. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member
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    I will be getting my MD this summer and will have a year until I start residency (personal reasons). So, I would like to fill the time by gaining some path experience. Is working in a path lab the only option? Yeah if anyone could give me some advice with regards to my original question, that would be great!
     
  5. sequela

    sequela Junior Member
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    what do you mean path lab? are you looking to do a research project in a laboratory run by a pathologist or are you looking to be hired as a tech or something in a hospital path lab? i'm confused.

    i don't think you have a lot of "job" options (at least ones that pay) for just one yr of availability.

    i would just take some electives while you're still in school, get your LORs, have everything you need to apply and then apply outside of the match, maybe even for an early start date.

    to sit a whole year out for path "experience" is a little much in terms of perking up your cv. i think you can convey interest in pathology without working in a "path lab".

    i am not really clear on what you are looking to accomplish...didn't you start another thread regarding this issue? i am having serious deja vu right now.

    as it was pointed out to you in the pervious thread you started on this topic, no one can really answer these questions for you without knowing what you're seeking to accomplish with respect to your career aspirations, etc.
     
  6. DarksideAllstar

    DarksideAllstar you can pay me in bud
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    Sounds like the OP has reasons other than "perking up her cv" for taking a year off and that "getting path experience" through hands on stuff seems appealing to them since they are taking a year off anyway.

     
  7. sequela

    sequela Junior Member
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    my comment regarding his/her cv is in reference to his/her comment "I was wondering, is there anything I can do to make myself a more competitive applicant before I apply in the Fall?" on a previous post on another thread on this same topic (thread titled "taking time off after grad...what should i do for a year)

    i should have clarified what i was speaking to but i simply assumed that the op would get it since he/she would recall his/her own statements on previous posts.


    to the op: getting hands on path experience would obviously be ideal but i can't think of a way to do that...if you're not in med school and therefore covered by liability insurance etc then it's difficult to get your hands wet. you'd have to be properly hired for a position and i am just assuming that it would be difficult if you're available for just one yr.

    doing research in a path lab is not really hands on or preparation for residency. nor is it the "everyday experience of being a pathologist". nevertheless, i think it's the most viable option.
     
  8. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member
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    Well, so here's my story...

    I am a USIMG and I applied to IM and FP (majority were IM programs) residency programs for the 2007 match. I had 12 interviews in both IM and FP altogether. I believe I could have had more interviews since my Step 2 CK scores were not reported during the interview season (as a FMG, it is best to have ALL scores in to maximize the number of interviews). I took the CS Nov, 2006 (which I shouldn't have, will explain more later) and found out I failed the CS on February, 2007. Now for all FMGs, we need to have passing scores on Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS by rank list order deadline, which was Feb 21st. If not, you are pulled out of the match by ECFMG (the FMG accrediting body). So, in summary, I found out I failed my Step 2 CS early Feb, and obviously, there was no way I could retake the test and have a score report by rank order deadline, Feb 21st, so I could participate in the match.

    What I should have done was take the Step 2 CS earlier on, so that if I failed, I could've retaken that darn test again, so I would have had a passing score on Step 2 CS by rank order deadline. That was recommended by my school, but I didn't think I would've failed that test. I thought if I studied hard, I should have been able to pass it first time around. We are recommended by our school to take the CK and CS by Dec 31st, so that we have passing scores by Feb 21st, rank order deadline.

    So, there I was in hell. I paid thousands of dollars in application fees, travel expenses (hotel, plane tickets, food, you name it) for interviews. My only chance in getting a spot was through the scramble. So, scramble day comes along and that was another level of hell. At the time of the scramble, I did not schedule a date to retake the CS, so pretty much I was scrambling with no passing score on CS. I had a helluva time scrambling. I heard several horror stories about the scramble and they were all true. Phone lines were busy, fax lines were busy, my DSL line was too slow, ERAS site was slow, had a hard time logging into the NRMP site to access the unfilled program list.

    Luckily, one IM program offered me an interview. However, they did not know I failed the CS since I did not email them my failed CS score report. After I told them I failed it, BAM, my interview was cancelled. I tried scrambling into mainly IM programs (preliminary and categorical), but I also tried FP, Pathology, Radiology, PMNR just to see what I could get. After several days, I just quit. I could never imagine myself doing FP, so the number of applications I sent out for FP were limited. I did my best to get a spot in either IM categorical or preliminary, but to no avail. I never heard anything from Radiology or Pathology, and I didn't expect to anyways, since I had no pathology experience (via electives, research or working in a hospital path lab) and radiology is notoriously competive, esp. for a FMG.

    My original applications for the 2007 match were mainly for IM with a few FP applications in there for backup in case I did not match IM. Initially, I wanted to apply to Radiology, but after serious consideration, I decided not to because there was no way I could match in rads. I never considered applying to Path until several weeks ago.

    Several weeks ago, my friend suggested I look into path after the whole scramble ordeal was over. I thought about it and it sure fit what I was looking for. I came to the realization that I am not a big fan of clinical medicine and all the everyday nonsense that goes along with it. So to make a positive out of a negative, I am happy I did not get into an IM program. Also, I received a master's degree prior to medical school where I worked in a cellular neurobiology lab, performing research at the cellular level. I told my friend that I thought it was fate for all of this to happen...to not have matched and having him tell me to consider path. I published my master's thesis (first author) at a graduate program affiliated with a US medical school.

    Now here I am. I am scheduled for 2 months of pathology elective this month and next. I asked about working in a path lab, not to make myself a more competitive applicant, but because I have a year off. I have not shown any interest in path in my application materials, until now. Like I said I have two months of path elective and am looking to work in a path lab (not a research lab, but a hospital pathology lab) to get more experience doing whatever that will give me more experience and hopefully will help me in residency. Since my experience in pathology is minimal, I have no idea what can I do to get more pathology experience after I graduate this summer. I was thinking about asking the doc who I will be doing a path elective with, if I could work in his lab. Another option is that I might be able to pull some strings and work in a path lab at my dad's hospital (my dad is a physician). I understand there are liability issues, but I haven't thought about that yet.

    I recently pm'ed a path resident who graduated from my school and he/she stated that being away from school for one year may hurt my chances "in finding a pathology residency program." Is this true? I pretty much have no choice but to take a year off. BTW, I am a US citizen.

    In terms of career intentions, I am looking to get into an AP/CP program, at a program where I can have the best training possible.

    Well, thank you for hearing me out. I know I have a long way to go, and I faced many struggles/sacrifices before, so this is nothing new to me. I appreciate all the help and advice you guys have given me so far. If anything is unclear please ask and I will answer away.

    Thanks in advance for any advice, suggestions, help. Good luck to all.
     
  9. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member
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    So there is nothing I could possibly do in a hospital-based path lab without liability insurance? I am looking along the lines of a path tech. I am not sure what other positions are there in a path lab. Do I need certification to do that sort of work? Hmmm....one year seems a long time...it's not like I will be there several months.

    Well I sincerely appreciate your help. I just need to do something path-related so when they ask me on interviews what I will be doing for the whole year I have something to say that will help me get a spot.
     
  10. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member
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    How can this be done? Via findaresident.com? In terms of an early start date are you talking about January of 2008? What is the quality of these programs?

    Thanks for any info!
     
  11. sequela

    sequela Junior Member
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    i am so sorry you had to endure all that bullsh!t. this whole fmg thing makes no sense to me...why it should be so hard. but on the bright side, and it's very bright, you didn't go into IM...really, if that's not where your heart is then it would have been too painful. thank god you found pathology early enough to get some electives done before you graduate. i know it was painful but in the end, you kinda lucked out i think.

    okay. 2 months path experience is good. it's something. get letters. i would totally hit up any pathologist you worked with....do any of them have connections w anyone at a us med school (one you may want to go to for resdiency)? if so, can something be set-up? i would think the most ideal thing is to get a job at a university hospital in the us. work all your connections...i've seen it done. get into someone's lab.

    i personally think you should do research since you already have a nice background and it would help your application. while it is not hands on path or prep for residency, it is an intellectual pursuit that is relevant to pathology. w or without pubs, i think it will strengthen your application and add to your skill set.


    i think it would be a waste of your md to work as a tech...they don't do the stuff in path that you would do as a resident. it would require training and paperwork and all that stuff that no one wants to do for someone who's only there one year (not including interviews). and yes, many require certification of some sort.

    i think you should do something more suited to your training (md plus sci masters).

    i am not all that clear on the other positions available in a hospital setting but from what i've seen, a lot of it is technical stuff requiring one to be properly hired.


    with respect to liabilty, you can't handle specimens without having paperwork done and all that crap in order....in other words, you have to be accounted for should there be injury or a mess up of some sort. so, you can't just volunteer...you'd have to be hired for an actual position.

    do you need to make money over this yr or are you willing to work for free or small stipend?


    if you can work for free or nearly free, get into a research lab. it will be higher yield.

    let's see what others say...let me ask around and i will get back to you. i know a few people who had to kill time and show interest in path while doing it.

    again, at least you have had some experience and know what it is and like it so you're not too bad off for applying in about 5 months.


    in regards to outta match match (at a quality program), i think it works best when you're already at the hospital to want to match to....again, others may know more about this. that's what i've seen done.

    but yes, otherwise quality may be compromised.

    okay...i'll get back to you when i know more.
     
  12. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member
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    Thaitanium, since you already have a Master's, try and get a position working in a research lab (maybe with a pathologist at a local med school). You may get a publication. You could probably work time in to go "hang-out" with some pathologists every now and then (go to some sign-outs, etc.) and you will have more flexibility in your schedule to take time off for interviews in the Fall.
     
  13. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member
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    That's a good idea. Well, it looks like I am going to have to bust some arse in the next few months. I will be heading over to the University here to meet up with a doc. I will see what I can get my hands on so I can publish, whether it be a review article, case report, or possibly a journal article (which I know can take a long time).

    Thanks Circum and sequela for the help!
     
  14. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    personally I think its FAR too easy for IMGs to practice in the US as it is now.

    Look at other countries, even where healthcare SUCKS I couldnt work without having to pretty much repeat everything.
     
  15. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Well, there is a shortage of doctors, so the country needs more to fill the need. Of course, most of this need is in primary care, and I doubt you could make requirements different for different specialties.
     

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