dunno if you sit and just read, pathology always seemed super easy to me (and now it is not even remotely intellectually challenging). If you dont read of course its like to trying to converse in English with someone who knows only Greek. Its binary, either you do the reading and know the answer or screw off and just flounder expecting people to hand feed you the info. I actually think you could theoretically train someone to be top notch pathologist in a year with enough intensity and focus.
The area that most trainees struggle with is procedures, mainly because they get such little practice. So marrows, FNAs etc.
I dont believe faculty in training make any difference from an intellectual standpoint and predominately affect a trainee's practice mindset: if youre faculty are weak, you will be weak, if they are strong, then you will tend to be strong etc. You will get out of training what you personally put in. It could be East Virginia Medical Center or Harvard's Brigham and Women's, doesnt matter.
There is plenty of "material" to learn from at almost any hospital to become a competent pathologist. I had a very bright AND wise chief resident once tell me that.
I didn't stop feeling like that until after year 2, maybe partway through year 3. It's a whole new language and was really difficult for me particularly coming from a non-basic science background. I came from clincial care as a career change so everything was completely foreign. It felt for a while like I would never learn it, but I surprised myself in the end. Hang in there. For me, the most important thing was finding mentors I could talk honestly with and get advice from. Some of my "meanest" teachers I was scared of in PGY1 turned out to be my now closest mentors I learned the most from and really like now.At this stage (end of year 1), I still often find myself clueless, and I don’t seem to retain much of what I read. I don’t want to entertain the thought of failing, but really worried to say the least.