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Path and philosophy: Why are we here?

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Mindy, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member
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    So the question I keep getting asked along the interview trail is "why the sudden increase nationally in pathology?"

    Are we all about lifestyle choices? (I'm not... I plan on dying with my forehead against the oculars)

    Are we that impressed with pathology being 4 instead of 5 years now? (Makes no difference to me, since I was a PSF. Also other interviewees DID NOT even know the change was made at one school I applied at!)

    Did this forum actually have an influence? (I wonder...)

    Are we now aware that the job market has opened, and those of us that worry about future employment are now comfortable picking pathology as a career? (This may have influenced me some)

    Do we (1) hate patients or (2) are we warped in some way? (For me (1) I LOVE patients and GP felt the need to give us a lesson on pt care in pathology, and (2) no more warped than any other medical student!)

    SO why do we want to be pathologists, folks?
    Any thoughts?

    Mindy

    P.S. I just love pathology!
     
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  3. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    Mindy, I personally think it is all the things you said not just any one. Plus other things like..we are getting some radiology carryover and unhappyness with some of the other fields (ie. peds is having a terrible job problem right now and OB is having terrible insurance problems).

    If people actually had to do a rotation in path during 3rd or 4th years path would even be more competitive. Most folks don't even understand what path really does even after med school. The funniest thing is that even many other residents think our biggest job is autopsy.

    For me personally the reason was I loved "Quincy" (TV show for you youngens) when I was growing up, so I always wondered if path was anything like that and in some ways it is.
     
  4. blueintheface

    blueintheface Member
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    If we were to use this forum as a barometer of interest in pathology amongst med students, we just surpassed radiology. And most of our posts have been meaningful (unlike this one).:D
     
  5. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    Yeah, we have been on a roll today look at all the posts. I need to do some work and get off this dang computer hehe. Though I don't think rads is in any danger of being surpased by path in the competiveness factor. But, watch out surgery here we come.
     
  6. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    hehe.... awe...shucks... :D I think that if I wasn't able to do radiology, I'd probably wind up doing path. I think people applying to radiology and using anesthesiology as a back up are confused. I have done both path and anesthesiology and path is much more similiar to rads and than gas. Also, Gas can be very stressful (so can rads and path I imagine), but not THAT stressful. In any case, good luck on the pathology interview trail. Now is an interesting time for interospection (sp?).
     
  7. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member
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    blue, have you interviewed yet? I am serious, it is the one consistent question between programs... over "why do you want to be a pathologist?" As far as meaningful, I think that the motivation behind your colleagues for entering a certain career are indeed meaningful. Can you imagine the attrition rate next year if people decided to become pathologists for some of the reasons I alluded to. It is not a streamlined field in comparison to other areas of medicine...people may not get what they expect if they haven't done their homework prior to signing on for the path match.

    Mindy
     
  8. blueintheface

    blueintheface Member
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    Mindy, I didn't mean to imply that this thread has no meaning. I was referring to my own post as meaningless in the context of surpassing the radiology forum in the number of posts. I've had 2 interviews so far (3 more next week) and haven't been asked that question yet, but I definitely agree that motivations for entering a specialty are very important and I agree with most of the reasons you listed. My school hasn't seen much of an increase in pathology applicants this year, only 1 other besides me who is definitely applying, but I think there are more people who are considering pathology plus another field. I think what tipped the scales this year is the perception of a sudden job market improvement - the general impression about pathology the last few years for some reason was that the job market was awful. Sometimes, the only thing med students knew about pathology was that it would be hard to find a job after residency. Maybe that was because the residency handbooks like Iserson's, First Aid, Pfizer's etc, were late in updating their pathology entries. I also agree that there is probably quite a bit of radiology carry-over. The rads applicants I know are very nervous, even the ones with stellar stats. But I'm not too worried about these carry-overs increasing the competition because they will rank path programs at the bottom of their lists and the ones with AOA, etc will most likely match in radiology before they reach the bottom of their lists. As for the change in residency requirements from 5 to 4 years, I think the effect will be more gradual as the news slowly filters down. Anyway, its a curious thing to be applying at a time when a field is becoming more popular. On the one hand, you don't want competition to be fierce during your year, but on the other hand, you want your field to attract the best applicants. I really hope that one day pathology will be as competitive as the surgical specialties, I just hope that day doesn't come before Match Day 2003.:cool:
     
  9. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member
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    oops... sorry blue...you did say "post" not "thread".

    (where's the shamed face symbol when I need it?)

    But you know that I only became sensitized toward your comment because of how much I care about you and your opinion right?

    (where's the batting eyelids face symbol when I need it?)

    ;) okay what was that about meaningless posts?

    Mindy
     
  10. blueintheface

    blueintheface Member
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    hey, no problem mindy. at least now i have an answer to that question should i be asked in my next interviews. :)

    at this rate, we'll be catching up to the surgery forum soon and then we can set our sights on those chatty PM&R folks.
     
  11. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member
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    CF:

    I am STILL laughing about the l'il doggies you sent a'runnin' way back when you pressed the button. I STILL have images of inked up sheets of paper applications taking off like butterflies, as you bid them ado!

    Personally, I think that post alone dubs you the sovereign king of meaningless!

    Mindy
     

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