Waysensei

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2008
112
0
Status
Medical Student
I am a 3rd year medical student interested in a career in Pathology. However, the one factor that is making me question my commitment is the job prospects following residency. I have read much about how the Pathology job outlook is the most dismal of all the specialties.

In particular, the site that I have linked below lists that 40% of pathology residents are unable to find a job after completion of their training.

http://www.ascp.org/MainMenu/<wbr>residents/ASCP-Releases-2009-<wbr>Resident-and-Fellowship-Job-<wbr>Market-Survey-Reports.aspx

Can anyone comment on this? I would love to do Pathology, but if it is going to be that hard to find a job, I don't know if I should. If I did my residency at a university hospital, such as University of California, would I still have trouble landing employment?
 

Entgegen

10+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2006
440
8
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You mean you couldn't find an answer to your question on the hundreds of other threads on this very topic?
 

Parts Unknown

Fork tender
Jun 26, 2009
1,515
3
Status
Attending Physician
In particular, the site that I have linked below lists that 40% of pathology residents are unable to find a job after completion of their training.
No, the survey states that 31% of 93 residents (29 people) who applied for jobs did not receive offers by the time the RISE is administered (early Spring).

Given that few people hunt for jobs in earnest straight out of residency, and considering a host of other confounding factors, the data from this survey have always been difficult to interpret.

Perhaps one day someone will write a clear, comprehensive survey and administer it to all graduating residents and fellows. That would be much more helpful.
 

BU Pathology

10+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2006
600
40
Boston
Status
Attending Physician
Each year for the past 3 years I have asked multiple pathologists at national meetings the following questions:
Do you have residents who cannot find fellowships
Do you have fellows or residents who cannot find jobs.

Every single program director and pathology chair answers no. Most answer that they are currently recruiting or plan to recruit in the near future.

My survey can hardly be considered scientific, but good candidates are getting good positions. In fact, it seems that all candidates are getting positions.

Pathology is a relatively small field, and we do not typically count in workforce estimates by the AAMC.

If you have an interest in pathology you should pursue this interest and not be swayed by anonymous posts on an internet forum.

Daniel Remick, M.D.
Chair and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center
 

raider

10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2007
241
3
Status
Attending Physician
I agree with what has been said: Interest and enthusiasm for a field should be one of the most important factors in career selection.

Pathology is in need of intelligent and ambitious individuals. As far as I am concerned no other field in medicine comes close as far as intellectual and artistic satisfaction are concerned.

The above being said, the field is rife with suboptimal practitioners who entered it due to various shortcomings rather than a genuine interest or talent. A glut of such individuals and the greed of residency programs for cheap labor and governmental dollars have coupled to make the pathologist (the best and most vital physician, in my opinion) an expendable asset to be exploited by unscrupulous entities such as hospitals, private groups,other specialities, academic centers and especially megalabs. This exploitation has reached a painful level with monsters like Quest buying out pathology groups and hiring pathologists for twice the amount of work and less than one-third the salary. All the revenue generated by the pathologists goes on to fill the pocket of the adminstrators. The CEO of Quest made 13 million last year. They know they can replace you by any number of candidates (they could care less about the quality of work done since they are clueless about what qualities make a good pathologist and more importantly due to the excellent profits they can afford a couple of law suits here and there) and hence they will lowball you as much as they want to.

The situation can only be reversed by better control of supply and demand. This is the job of organized pathology, and it is a job that they have failed miserably in.

Your average radiologist earns twice as much for half as vital a job (just pointing a direction rather than giving a defintive roadmap of disease) because of better supply and demand. The same goes for dermatologists or any other field with a good income to work ratio.
 

pathstudent

Sound Kapital
15+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2003
2,987
78
43
Visit site
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Your average radiologist earns twice as much for half as vital a job (just pointing a direction rather than giving a defintive roadmap of disease) because of better supply and demand. The same goes for dermatologists or any other field with a good income to work ratio.
Again your arrogance is unbelievable if you think radiology is half a vital of a job.
 

Substance

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2007
1,224
190
Status
Attending Physician
Radiology is super important. Pathology however is no less important. The significant difference of remuneration between the two has more to do with the attitudes of physicians both within and outside of pathology.

For a long time, pathology has been stigmatised as the specialty which accepts americans with average to low USMLE scores. It has also been seen as the haven for foreign medical graduates who possess dubious proficiency of the english language.

These stereotypes, as accurate as they can be in some cases, are what keep top students from considering the field. These stereotypes are also what is keeping the medical establishment from respecting pathology, and why it isn't emphasised more in medical education.

Filling a field with foreign grads, who feel lucky(and are lucky) to be living in the USA, is not the best way to have a unified front in making sure quality and fairness are present in the field. If I were a foreign doctor on a visa or green card, I would never take a stupid chance by demanding more for my specialty. Domestic grads do not have this fear.

The field really needs to clamp down on accepting average to low quality applicants. If I were running a residency program for any specialty, I would automatically not consider any foreign grad, nor any american that graduated from a non-american or non-canadian medical school. There would be far fewer residents in the field overall, and for the initial decade or so some years would see no residents, but quality trumps quantity anytime.
 

2121115

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,667
39
Status
Attending Physician
I think this point is under appreciated. Think about this - every time you meet a clinician they assume that they did better than you in medical school, basically that they are smarter and harder working than you are. By contrast, they do not feel that way when interacting with radiologists, for example.

This fact goes a long way to establishing the dynamics of interaction on numerous levels. When I was a resident, no one in my program made below a 230 on Step 1, but nobody except those in the program knew. This is why "interpersonal skills" are so important. It is not just about knowing it, its also about selling it. You have to think about this when interacting with clinicians.
 

path24

7+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2009
304
55
Status
Attending Physician
Check out the CAP jobsite...they should change the name to the CAP Army Reserve Pathology Career Center. This is a top jobsite for fellows....definitely not enough jobs on there for the number of new pathologists being produced.

Everyone I know struggles to find a job. Most find a job, but yes I know board-certified fellows that ended training unemployed.
 

2121115

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,667
39
Status
Attending Physician
Check out the CAP jobsite...they should change the name to the CAP Army Reserve Pathology Career Center. This is a top jobsite for fellows....definitely not enough jobs on there for the number of new pathologists being produced.
Agree that the CAP website is inadequate if you are looking for a job, particularly a job right out of training. Note to job seekers: if you are depending on the CAP website to help you find a job, don't. There are way too few jobs on there and the majority of the ones that are posted there are not good jobs. The few good jobs that do get posted there get overwhelmed with applications.


Everyone I know struggles to find a job.
This has not been my experience. I actually don't know anyone personally who has struggled to find a job, although stories do abound.


Most find a job, but yes I know board-certified fellows that ended training unemployed.
I am sorry to hear of board certified pathologists who cannot find a job after training. Having just gone through the job hunt, it does not surprise me that there are not enough jobs for the number of trainees finishing every year. In my training class, I had several job offers, two others were offered the first job they interviewed for and took it because they it was what they wanted, while another had a job lined up way before training finished. None of us felt that we "struggled" to find a good job, however, our experience is probably not representative of the average pathology trainee.

The issue is not that there are no good jobs, but that there are soooooo many new graduates. When a good job comes up it doesn't stay open long and few people even know about it. That is why as a new grad you have to make your own luck 100% of the time.
 

Parts Unknown

Fork tender
Jun 26, 2009
1,515
3
Status
Attending Physician
Everyone I know struggles to find a job. Most find a job, but yes I know board-certified fellows that ended training unemployed.
You may be at the crappiest training program in the country. Please do everyone a favor and call it out. I'm sure some of the younger folk on here would like to know where to avoid.
 

KeratinPearls

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
824
10
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Check out the CAP jobsite...they should change the name to the CAP Army Reserve Pathology Career Center. This is a top jobsite for fellows....definitely not enough jobs on there for the number of new pathologists being produced.

Everyone I know struggles to find a job. Most find a job, but yes I know board-certified fellows that ended training unemployed.
Yes call out your program. All of your posts from the last 2 years is about the sucky job market.
 

2121115

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,667
39
Status
Attending Physician
You may be at the crappiest training program in the country. Please do everyone a favor and call it out. I'm sure some of the younger folk on here would like to know where to avoid.

Yes it does sound horrible. I hope things work out better for path24 than it did for those who have gone before him/her.
 

gschl1234

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2003
1,014
13
Status
Attending Physician
You may be at the crappiest training program in the country. Please do everyone a favor and call it out. I'm sure some of the younger folk on here would like to know where to avoid.
It could all be an exaggeration or perhaps the people having trouble are looking in a very specific location.
 
Aug 4, 2009
884
3
Status
Attending Physician
"Everyone" has trouble finding a job? Not true. Not even remotely. I don't know of many who do. I know of some who have. And I know it is hard for people on this forum to hear, but the ones who have usually have major issues.

You can't predict job markets. Ask a current radiology grad who is looking for a job just how great the job market is for them right now. No one would have predicted the current status even 2 years ago. Find a field you like and put your best efforts into it and you will likely have success. If you are picking a field for other reasons (like primarily lifestyle or money or whatever) you have more of a chance of having difficulty.
 

LADoc00

Gen X, the last great generation
10+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2004
6,481
550
Status
Attending Physician
There are so many threads on this, I will never post on this topic again other than to say Path is the world of the "haves and the have nots".

The Haves have it good. We drive fancy sports cars, drink sparkling Dom for lunch on a random Monday and generally have iron clad job security (generally...).

The Have Nots/Chaff do have it quite rough though.

I will close with the fact that many many types of docs dont have job security, so you if you in the Moby Dick hunt for the ultimate speciality, it aint out there.

Only ultimate business types.

Peace out.

BTW- I will be in line at midnite for CoD: BOps tonight if you have any further ?s.
 

Arctic Char

10+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2005
1,061
6
not fishing . . .
Status
Resident [Any Field]
There are so many threads on this, I will never post on this topic again other than to say Path is the world of the "haves and the have nots".

The Haves have it good. We drive fancy sports cars, drink sparkling Dom for lunch on a random Monday and generally have iron clad job security (generally...).

The Have Nots/Chaff do have it quite rough though.

I will close with the fact that many many types of docs dont have job security, so you if you in the Moby Dick hunt for the ultimate speciality, it aint out there.

Only ultimate business types.

Peace out.

BTW- I will be in line at midnite for CoD: BOps tonight if you have any further ?s.
can i get a WHAA WHAA?!?!
 

pathstudent

Sound Kapital
15+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2003
2,987
78
43
Visit site
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Agree with the haves and have nots. Although I try to paint a picture where you can earn private practice money in academics it is only a select few that do and those seem to be department chairs, true expert pathologists and heads of dermpath.

Also agree that your personality well determine whether you become a have or have not.