5+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2012
Resident [Any Field]
Any pathologists out there willing to share experiences of part time work? Currently full time but considering transitioning to some kind of part time work in a few years once some major financial goals are taken care of (i.e. home mortgage paid off, college for 2 kids adequately funded in 529's) and I could easily handle the reduced income (which would still be more than adequate for my family).

Still pretty young (30s) but the thought of grinding away full time for 20+ years makes me feel "trapped". I have considered full time until financially independent and then retiring cold turkey (maybe sometime in 40s), but I do think I would have a hard time completely walking away for good at that age.

I think some version of part time (3 days a week, or 1 week on 1 week off) would give me the optimal work/life balance. This would probably be done best through some kind of "job share". My only fears are weakening of skills, or alternatively, the perception from others that I have less than adequate skills because I am part time. Keep in mind that I am full time now and would be making this transition 5+ years out of training.

Again, if/when I make this move there should not be financial ramifications, I am mostly looking for experiences of other pathologists who do some kind of part time work, particularly in community practice


Staff member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
Fixing in 10% neutral buffered formalin
Attending Physician
We have had a couple of part time pathologists in our group. Typically it is by days/week. We have had others who have essentially been a 0.9 FTE effort because they take too many vacation days.

Typiclaly, the part timer would take every wednesday off, or every tuesday and wednesday, or something like that. For busy vacation weeks they would work every day sometimes when vacation demand was high and they were working. But those who were more like 0.9 FTE just took more vacation days throughout the year. We consider a 1.0 FTE someone who takes the minimum number of vacation days - you can take more if there are vacation spots available. If you are planning to be 0.8 or less, you bring it up with the group well ahead of time so we can all be prepared for it. Part time paths do not take less call or have fewer responsibilities in terms of running labs or sections.

Our group is probably different though.


10+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2009
Attending Physician
I have worked with people on part time schedule both working several days a week and working the 1 week on, 1 week off. If you are doing AP, the latter approach seems to work better in our hospital setting. It seemed like the people who worked 2-3 days in a week were always coming in on days off or staying late on 1/2 days following up stains and recuts.


Gen X, the last great generation
15+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2004
Attending Physician
Very very common to work PT in Pathology, you would have zero issues making that transition.
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