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pathology personality

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by unoriginal, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. unoriginal

    unoriginal Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    Just out of curiosity, is there a certain stereotypical personality of pathologists? i have had people say they don't really like people, blah blah... not sure I believe it though. As path residents/pathologists, how would you describe the actual stereotypical pathologist?
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  3. Byronsgoat

    Byronsgoat 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    As a path applicant (MS IV), and someone who did 2 rotations in pathology, they appear to be the nicest, most interesting physicians in the hospital.
  4. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    I think you could probably guess that the answer is there is no stereotypical pathologist. Like every field, there are jerks, there are saints, there are dumbasses, ugly people, sexy people, nerds, slackers, gunners, deviants, whiners, hard workers, etc. Most people who go into pathology do so because they love the field and are not as attracted to clinical medicine and its various permutations (for various reasons), so in that way they are different. But you are not going to find a typical pathologist unless you bias yourself, look for certain types, and then find one and make the leap that you were correct in your bias. Pathologists tend to be happy in their job, but that is probably true for most fields (again, if you are looking with a biased eye you may see things differently, to the person who is looking, the one disgruntled surgeon will represent the whole field).

    As for whether pathologists don't like people, can you blame us?

    We have a thread about this every 3 weeks or so.

  5. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    the majority of pathologists are great people, but that can be said about a lot of doctors. i agree with what yaah said above - pathologists aren't unique - most are great, some are tools, just like the rest of the world. i will add that they seem to be among the least arrogant group of physicians out there. some specialties think their poo doesn't stink and that they're smarter than everyone else. the pathologists i know recognize their own skills, as well as those of other docs - just the way it should be. every physician, neurosurgeon to rural primary care physician, has to have a vast set of knowledge. it's just that the particular knowledge set varies. this is something that pathologists seem to recognize as well as any other set of physicians out there.
  6. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory. 10+ Year Member

    Sep 9, 2004
    lots DSMIV mental illness in pathology, far higher IMO than other fields. Attracts a subset with social disorders like Asperger's/Autism as well as Schizophrenics and your usual Bipolars.

    I always carry a haldol injectable with me at USCAP meetings in case some path attendee decides to go off the reservation.
  7. gbwillner

    gbwillner Pastafarian Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    haha... are you sure you're not talking about psychiatry?
  8. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian 7+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    You forgot OCD.
    Can't forget OCD.
    No, no must not forget OCD.

    We are called pathology because we attract pathological personalities.
  9. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    I am not sure if pathology attracts these personalities more, it's just that it allows them to flourish a bit more. If you are OCD, you can use it as an advantage instead of having to stifle it. Although having signed out with a couple of OCD pathologists, it is not pleasant.

    I think pathology has fewer bat**** loonies than other fields. Less likely to go completely nuts. It happens, of course, though.
  10. unoriginal

    unoriginal Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    thanks for the sample threads... looks like i will have to do a better search next time.

    yeah, basically i am just wondering if i will fit in... but i guess that what matters the most is how much i like the field once I get some real exposure... i am only a lowly 2nd year, with no more exposure to the field than what i have gotten from the pathologists that teach most of 2nd year at my school (so essentially zero). i guess i will have to wait and do a rotation 3rd year.

    is the learning curve starting pathology residency as steep as the learning curve when starting medical school? in other words, how well does medical school (in general) prepare you for a residency in path, assuming you are average to above average student.
  11. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Nothing really prepares you for pathology residency. In my opinion, it is far less stressful than in other fields, because when you start you are given lots of supervision and direction, and have few real responsibilities that you can't get help easily for. Pathology is very different, and it is very challenging, but it's also pretty easy to know the basic stuff that you need to get by and not screw anything up hugely (attending reviews almost everything, etc). As you go on, you get more experienced and get more responsibility, and certain parts can be stressful, but it's a manageable stress.
  12. DarksideAllstar

    DarksideAllstar you can pay me in bud 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    West of the Haight
    What I had learned in my 3 years of med school prior to my PJF did nothing to help prepare for path (at least anatomic). For me it was a rough transition as all the stuff I learned wasn't really applicable-- I essentially felt like I was starting over. I'm glad that when I start residency in July it will not be as painful. Med school doesn't prepare you for anything other than to potentially hurt patients with your "knowledge".
  13. deschutes

    deschutes Thing Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    On location
    What's that line they like to quote to non-path G1's... "No independent thought for the first 6 months".
  14. bongobingo


    Nov 3, 2010
    so in pathology you can "flourish", that is, match into a residency and be competent to do your job. but when it comes to getting a nice job, a partnership, very few people make it?
  15. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    I wouldn't say that at all. You might get that impression from visiting these forums but there are lots of good jobs out there. Almost everyone I graduated with has what I would consider a good job. A couple have mediocre jobs for various reasons. And a couple of bounced around. Many paths don't find that job until they are several years into practice, but that aspect is true of most fields in medicine.
  16. 2121115

    2121115 7+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Agree with this. I personally know several docs in ENT, ophtho and GI who have moved and changed jobs several times in the first 5 years trying to find the "right" job and become a partner. Partnership doesn't come easy in other fields either and partners in other fields are not any more likely to part with significant $$$ for a new hire than pathologists are.

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