marantic

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2004
10
0
Status (Visible)
could you guys help me with a little info- help settle a bit of a dispute?

Does anyone know of any University (ie not community) Path resident program that does NOT utilize PAs- and if so what is their ~ specimen volume?

thanks for any help you can offer

:)
 

marantic

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2004
10
0
Status (Visible)
so, I went to 10 interviews (across the great USA) and never encountered a program withOUT a PA- there are attendings here (where I did a PSF) who believe that many programs still do not use PAs- that was not my experience- what about you guys? I know many of you interviewed all over and some of you have done PSFs-so..... ever experience a place that did NOT use PAs?? thanks again, mrtc;)
 

yaah

Boring
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
28,059
430
Fixing in 10% neutral buffered formalin
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I don't know of any, and that's a good thing. PAs perform several needed functions.

Most PAs can take care of specimens that are not very educational to gross, such as GI biopsies, cervical biopsies, EMCs, etc. Good PAs will also be able to handle frozen sections, grossing larger specimens.

The best ones are those who have been in the field for several years and can handle anything, help residents out, etc. During my PSF, one of the PAs had just gone on maternity leave, so there were some days I worked where there was no PA coverage at the hospital I was at, so I had to spend several hours doing all the skin biopsies, transferring every small polyp and prostate core from jar to cassette, and all that. On the other days the PA and I would work together, doing all the frozens and large cases. And I could spend a lot of the day looking at slides because she took care of all the little stuff. UMass now has 3 PAs so I don't even know if residents have to deal with little stuff unless it is a weekend or too late.

I can imagine there are programs that don't use PAs, but I doubt they have any significant volume. Some programs may not use PAs, but have histotechs or other auxilliary staff taking care of small biopsies.

Any program without a PA = Big red flag, in my book.
 
About the Ads

Global Disrobal

Along for the ride
Moderator Emeritus
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2002
1,000
14
Texas
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Ive seen my share of path programs around and never one without a PA. Alot of Keiser programs do incorporate techs that have been grandfathered into grossing, but still they have help there...
 

marantic

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2004
10
0
Status (Visible)
Originally posted by yaah
I don't know of any, and that's a good thing. PAs perform several needed functions.

Any program without a PA = Big red flag, in my book.

Couldn?t agree more- I also have a PSF under my belt and understand (worship ??) the roll of the PA- while Lester's Manual of Surg Path is great nothing is a substitute for a PA; however, my point in researching this question is this---- not everyone feels this way- we have a few "old-school" pathologist that do not believe that PAs are the best thing for a program- it is in many ways like the surgery attending who gets upset about the 80 hr work week and wants to tell you their war stories- we have a few path attendings that believe that PAs take away from one?s education ? they also believe that programs exist that do not use PAs (why I wanted to get some other experiences beyond my own to see if this was indeed true)- personally, I dig PAs (loved the red flag comment Yaah) and am not sure how I would have learned to gross without their help- it is an interesting question though- how to deal with the large volumes, still get good at grossing (if you go into community practice you may have to continue to do quite a bit of grossing) and have time to get good at dx- I am sure that you guys noticed a variety of ways that different programs are dealing with this- one of the extremes that I saw was at Duke where grossing responsibilities for residents is really at a minimum- I tried to rank programs that had a happy medium- good PA (and other support staff) with good teaching/interesting case load- anyway enough about me- thank you very much for the responses- long live the PA- :D
 

yaah

Boring
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
28,059
430
Fixing in 10% neutral buffered formalin
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I think every budding pathologist needs to spend significant time dealing with small biopsies. Fishing prostate cores out of a jar, finding them stuck to the lid, describing the skin lesion on a small biopsy, scraping an EMC off the tefla, all the rest. It helps you learn what is important and the general techniques of path.

That being said, it gets old fast. When you are on GI polyp #50 of the day, your brain starts to hurt when you know you have other stuff to do and other things that would be more educational.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 17 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.