I was recently asked about patient contact in path in a message and I thought I would post my answer here as well. So if anyone is lurking that may be interested. ------------- Different subspecialties of path have variable degrees of patient contact. The subspecialties withe the most contact would be Transfusion Medicine and Cytopathology. In large medical centers the transfusion medicine service normally runs an apheresis unit which deals with many patients everyday. Many you see over and over again for years. Some only once. Patients with sickle cell, host-vs-graft disease, stem cell harvest, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura and others are seen routinely. Cytopathology sees patients everyday as well, perform fine needle aspirates on inpatients, in clinics and in some places patients come directly to the pathology office. The role for the path doc in all of our patient contact is almost always in the consultant role. We don't act as primary care givers. If that is the patient interaction you are looking for path is not for you. That said path docs do not generally sit and thier office with out "people" contact. Pathologist are always conversing with other doctors and involved in individual cases all day long. Not to mention they normally have many employees and other collegues around. Not being the primary care giver for patients has advantages. Such as not being called in the middle of the night for prescription refills, sniffles etc..etc.. Not being sued nearly as much. Getting paid better than most primary care givers. Being able to sit in my comfortable chair, listening to some nice toons and doing my work at 9am verses rounding at 6 or 7am. Going home at 5pm. Not working most all weekends. Taking call from home about one week out of six to eight weeks and generally only answering questions over the phone once or twice that week. But, I am sure the folks that really want primary patient care can give you a list of reasons why as well. It really just depends on the individual. Good luck. I highly recommend doing some path rotations to really see what it is like.