Jan 15, 2010
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Hi all, I'm starting as a PGY-1 in July in Pathology. My favorite rotations during med school were Hematopathology and Transfusion Medicine. It's probably a bit too early to be worrying about jobs, but while I've heard a lot about career lifestyle and job opportunities for Heme, I really haven't heard that much about TMS. It seems difficult to find out information about Transfusion Medicine on the internet - lifestyle, salaries, job availabilities, etc. I really like both fields immensely but I really do love Transfusion Medicine. Thanks for any help!
 

green mantis

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If you want to know about job availability, you can always check out the AABB website (www.aabb.org). You can also buy blood bank / transfusion medicine texts from there. I recommend Practical Guide to Transfusion Medicine if you don't already have it.

In terms of jobs, BB/TM is different from HP because you're not reading slides. If you wanted to work strictly in the field, you'd probably have to work for a blood center (Red Cross or similar) or in academics. Most private practices don't have someone that is completely devoted to BB/TM. You'd also be signing out surgical pathology & would probably be considered a general pathologist.


----- Antony
 

rirriri

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one of the significant problems with community or hospital-based blood bank practice is the impending doom of Blood Bank expenses going through the roof, with it basically turning into a 'cash cow' for Pathology departments. Blood utilization is a major issue in many hospitals these days....hence why the decreasing demand for hospital Blood Bankers....instead, turning to utilizing larger blood centers through contracted work.

As green mantis said, most of the jobs are at blood centers or academia. If you're after the loot, BB isn't really the way to go.....as the private BB sector is dwindling, IMO.

But as a field, i'm sure it could be satisfying. I, personally, could never do it because I am still mystified by certain concepts in blood banking. But it's great that there is direct patient interaction within it, and unlike some other fields of Pathology, it stays on the front line of patient care.......which is really nice, especially for Pathologists who would like to stay involved clinically with patients.
 

LNsquasher

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I think BB/TM is genuinely intellectually engaging and rewarding. If for some reason you miss direct patient contact, it's a good option.

On the other hand, most jobs are in academic centers or large blood suppliers and don't pay that well. I don't get the sense that the job market is that tight, but I'm not sure.

The call can be rather horrendous. The average surgical pathologist gets called once or twice a month for a late frozen, but if you're on a busy pheresis service you can get called nearly every night with questions/notifications and have to come in frequently for procedures.
 

GeoLeoX

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If you want to know about job availability, you can always check out the AABB website (www.aabb.org). You can also buy blood bank / transfusion medicine texts from there. I recommend Practical Guide to Transfusion Medicine if you don't already have it.

In terms of jobs, BB/TM is different from HP because you're not reading slides. If you wanted to work strictly in the field, you'd probably have to work for a blood center (Red Cross or similar) or in academics. Most private practices don't have someone that is completely devoted to BB/TM. You'd also be signing out surgical pathology & would probably be considered a general pathologist.
A great list to start with, I would also add Joe Chaffin's www.bbguy.org as a potential reference for the field.
 
Jan 15, 2010
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Thanks for the replies guys. I love the immunology and coags in TMS (as I said , it was my favorite rotation of third year). I know the call can be bad. I guess I don't have to decide tomorrow what field of pathology I'm going to go in to :) I can't wait for July to start!
 

2121115

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My experience is that jobs are plentiful and widely available but the $$ is not that great (i.e. lower than normal for an academic surgical pathologist). That may not be true across the board but that is what I've seen in my limited experience. Also, the call may be frequent but the work during the day is pretty flexible and it is definitely a field that can offer more as far as family time and busy schedules outside of work.

To summarize my experience knowing a few docs who do transfusion medicine - intellectually interesting field, flexible schedule, plenty of jobs, frequent overnight call (although many calls can be handled from home) and relatively low $$$.
 

Ingram

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I am not a pathologist but I am a Med Tech working for our apheresis department. I thought I would add my 2 cents from our academic facility (which will go unnamed). As far as pheresis goes we do around 2-3 stem cell collections a week (duration of 1-4 days) and around 100+ therapeutic procedures a year (TPE, Red cell exchange, white cell depletion of a blast crisis). Of those 100ish 3-8 a year (on average) are emergent and require the tech and the pathologist to come in. Many of our emergent therapeutics are TTP.

We have 3 TM/BB pathologists, one fellow, and not sure how many residents. Our pathologists take 1 week of call every 3 weeks, this is usually during their "on-service" week. They also have 1 week of academia and one week doing something that I forgot or didn't pay attention to.

Not sure if this will be helpful at all, just thought I'd throw in my 2cents. As far as call other than pheresis, I don't know as I don't work in the blood bank itself (they probably get calls from them more frequently).

Ingram