SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Pathology Job Market - What went wrong?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by DrP_dauterman, Feb 19, 1999.

  1. DrP_dauterman

    DrP_dauterman Junior Member

    Feb 18, 1999
    Dededo, GU United States
    Hi everybody,

    In my opinion Pathologists will be in surplus relative to the job supply for at least the next 10 years. If this is true anyone who begins residency training in Pathology now stands maybe a 50% chance of never finding an
    attending level position in Pathology.

    There have been significant losses of Pathologist job positions in the US
    for the following reasons:

    First, mergers and acquisitions have increased the workload per Pathologist thereby reducing the total number of Pathology positions in the US. For example, when I began training in 7/91 the Hospital where I trained was averaging maybe 2,000 surgical cases per pathologist per year. The Company which owned the Hospital bought out several nearby hospitals. Each time the
    company bought a new hospital it would merge half of their Pathologists into the existing group and lay off the other half. As a result, the workload increased exponentially with each new acquisition but no one could leave - there were no other jobs in the area, the Company had bought many of the Hospitals. The workload is now well over 3,000 surgical cases per Pathologist per year (plus large numbers of cytology slides).

    Secondly, the Pathology residency programs in the US are training large numbers of Pathologists many of whom will never get a job in the field. I'll go into more detail on this later.

    Thirdly, administrative duties and Clinical Pathology duties have largely been turned over to non-MD administrative and technical staff. This decreased workload has generally been reflected in lower numbers of
    Pathologists. Generally loss has been by attrition. If the workload decreases, you close job positions as people retire, move on, etc. This is not a problem for people who are already working but it kills the chances
    of any new Pathology graduate getting a job.

    Fourthly, there are large numbers of Pathologists over age 70 who are clinging to their job and refusing to retire. This decreases the number of positions available to people who are graduating from residency.

    Here are some estimates I have of the numbers involved:

    Let's say that the US Population is about 270,000,000 (latest census estimate). If there are roughly 6,000 surgical specimens per 100,000 population per year then there are 16,200,000 surgical specimens examined
    in the US per year. A full-time Pathologist working very hard doing only Surgical Pathology would average about 4,000 specimens/yr. Therefore the entire Surgical Pathology load of the US could be done by 4050 Pathologists.

    I'm going to guess that the US Cytopathology load could be done by 2,000 Pathologists, Autopsy by 1,000 and Clinical Pathology by 1,000.

    There is a need for a minimum of 8,050 Pathologists (an educated guess). HOWEVER THERE ARE CURRENTLY ABOUT 14,000 PATHOLOGISTS IN THE USA, AN OVERSUPPLY OF 73%. If every Pathology training program was closed this
    oversupply would last at least 10 years.

    Phil Dauterman, MD
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Oct 8, 2013
    I don't know
    Yeah I know, if the path job market wasn't so bad I'd totally do it. But it seems to b a recent phenomenon tho- once all the old docs retire there will be plenty of jobs in 2042 :)
    W19 likes this.
  4. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Oct 8, 2013
    I don't know
    Guy, if by some miracle you still look at SDN you are a genius, path job market is crap, has been for a long time, and probably will be for a long time.
  5. 05silvergt

    05silvergt ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    How does a first year have time to bump 15 year old threads?
    CW 2010, AlteredScale and W19 like this.
  6. W19

    W19 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Sep 23, 2014
    Once you are done with Anatomy, you basically finish your 1st year.;)
  7. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Oct 8, 2013
    I don't know

    FALL BREAK:soexcited::highfive:. But next week classes start again :(
  8. W19

    W19 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Sep 23, 2014
    Boy... You already have a break! I am already looking forward to thanksgiving. Can't wait to get a break from that dead body (Anatomy).
    EMDO2018 likes this.
  9. DaTruMD

    DaTruMD 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Back on topic...

    Medical school admin: Just do what you love. There will always be a job out there for you as a doctor!!!

    ... and this looks a lot like where radiology is heading right about now.
    Baller MD likes this.
  10. Jabbed

    Jabbed 5+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    North of the Wall
    This is the second 15 year old necro today.

    I guess we're doing a retro theme this week..
    O Grady likes this.
  11. Judgment Dragon

    Judgment Dragon 5+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2011
  12. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average 7+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2008
    How do you even find these old threads?
    BidingMyTime, ridethecliche and W19 like this.
  13. Judgment Dragon

    Judgment Dragon 5+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    I used the search function.
  14. jqueb29

    jqueb29 5+ Year Member

    May 4, 2011
    Thread about the pathology field dying? Ironic. That same thread being brought back from the dead? Double irony.
  15. beaglesbagles


    Sep 25, 2015
    So, did pathology die?
  16. Funke

    Funke 5+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    I guess now it needs an...... autopsy. :cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
  17. Freddie Mercury

    Freddie Mercury Bismillah! No, we will not let you go! 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2012
    Bohemian Rhapsody
    These out of work pathologists will need an analyst as well as a therapist. That's right down your alley Dr. Funke.
    Funke and Jabbed like this.
  18. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    Tied to a library chair
    He can't help.

    He just blue himself.

Share This Page