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Physician Scientist Pathway sanctioned by the American Board of Pathology

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by BU Pathology, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. BU Pathology

    BU Pathology 10+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    The American Board of Pathology just announced that a physician-scientist pathway has been created. The purpose of this pathway is to increase the number of physician scientist who are choosing pathology as a career. Several other medical disciplines have an official sanctioned pathway. Among these are Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Dermatology, and Radiology.

    Medical students interested in a career as a physician scientist have always considered pathology as a potential discipline. This action by the Board creates a similar pathway for our discipline.

    The timing is excellent, if students are considering a physician scientist career, pathology has a pathway.

    The official announcement may be found here:

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

    Filovirus 5+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    I find it a little disappointing that the new rules don't do anything to streamline clinical training for research pathway candidates. In internal medicine, for instance, the ABIM research pathway allows clinical training to shortened by a year in order to provide more time for research. I think a similar change by the ABP - for instance, AP/CP research pathway = 3 years of AP/CP and 1 year fellowship and 2 years research or 2 years AP-only or CP-only + fellowship and research - would increase both increase interest in the pathway and make official what many programs have been informally offering anyway.
    wholeheartedly and DermViser like this.
  4. Sulfinator

    Sulfinator Pathology 10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    It's a reasonable argument that the pathology research track should be 2 years of AP or 2 years of CP + 1 year fellowship + 2-3 year of research. But what's the point of doing both AP and CP training anyway if you are then going to head directly into a track towards becoming a subspecialty investigator? I mean, a transfusion medicine researcher doesn't really need to be a board certified anatomic pathologist. Likewise, someone who wants to study renal cell carcinoma would be fine not to have any CP training. The ABIM PSTP track cuts out a year, but IM folks are only qualifying for one board certification. I can't think of a good reason to make combined AP/CP part of a research training track.
  5. Filovirus

    Filovirus 5+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    In general, I agree with you - AP/CP is probably overkill for most academic positions. Hemepath might be an exception (depending on where you train). But 2 years AP or CP seems like a must for the track to be relevant.
  6. Alteran

    Alteran 7+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Border war zone
    That's a good track for people who want to do research. However, with all the cuts in federal funding for research grants I'm not sure how this is ultimately viable. I can only imagine that pathologists in this career path will have to sign cases out to make ends meet (for both themselves and their departments) and is under 3 years of either AP or CP really enough exposure for independent sign out?
  7. Filovirus

    Filovirus 5+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    I would guess that most people pursuing the research track would have a plan to sub-specialize in AP or CP. In that respect, my suspicion would be that most of the experience necessary for sign-out in the subspecialty would be gained in the fellowship. Given that much of the 3rd year is mostly electives anyway, I am not sure how much it contributes to ones final ability to work - at least in a specific subspecialty area. So yes - I think it would be enough. I agree with your sentiments about federal funding - some sort of clinical service will almost certainly be required and should be planned for by any research track candidate.
  8. BlondeDocteur

    BlondeDocteur 10+ Year Member

    Well, I'm *not* a PhD but I'm kind of already doing this. The ABIM pathway, as noted, allows one to fast-track into fellowship-- but we already can! Again, this isn't meant for generalists. This is meant for people who enter residency with certainty re: their eventual subspecialization and research interests. Already, you can do 24 months undifferentied AP + 1 subspecialty, non-ACGME fellowship + 1 ACGME fellowship. Within those fellowships you can-- depending on the field, institution, and amount of service work-- devote a good amount of time for research.

    It sounds like what you can do instead, now, through this pathway, is 24 months AP + 1 year of research + 1 fellowship, in that order. Currently you're not eligible for ACGME fellowships unless you've completed 36 months of clinical training-- of which 24 months have to be AP, for the AP boards-- so you can't do a solid year of research. Now you can.

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