1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice

Which is harder: radiology or patholgy?

Discussion in 'Radiology' started by question, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. question

    question Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which is harder? IMHO radiology is harder b/c you take 3 rigorous boards whereas in pathology you only take a maximum of 2.
    Why did you choose Radiology over pathology
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    2
    It is really hard to make a statement about which is harder since there are few people who do both a radiology and a pathology residency. Harder in terms of what? Both residencies are intellectually taxing. They require an understanding and associations of many diseases. Having said that, I have a feeling that there are more specific things to know in pathology versus radiology given that pathology is the gold standard reference for diagnosis and sometimes the diagnosis can be made definitely where as (sometimes) with radiologic studies it is more difficult to say with confidence an "exact" diagnosis. The difficulty in radiology is to know the differential diagnosis for a finding (a wide net) and narrow it down appropriately. Also one of the key things in radiology is the "don't touch lesions" which unless noted may set the patient down a path of much unnecessary diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
     
  4. Ctrhu

    Ctrhu Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't want to generalize but Pathology is noncompetitive specialty. Although their training is also five years, there is not as much stress and only limited call.

    There was a resident in my program who went into radiology right after finishing a Pathology residency and passing their board. The thinks that Radiology residency is tougher. But I have to admit, they do have to know a lot.

    Because Pathology and Radiogy are similar in approaches, most residents get to rotate to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in DC for 6 weeks in their junior year. During this rotation, radiologic findings are correlated with the pathology involved, down to the cellular level. Hence one gains a much deeper understanding of disease processes. No residency program teaches you these things

    As an aside, you should ask whether the residency programs you are interviewing with send their residents to the AFIP. IF they don't, don't rank them highly because they are trying to save money, trying to make you work and don't particularly care that this is a unique opportunity for you to learn and to help you pass your Boards.
     
  5. question

    question Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Radiology must be harder than pathology since radiologists have to take a written and an oral exam (not to mention the physics exam) while pathologists only have to take a written exam.

    Also, radiologists get sued a lot more in malpractice than pathologists do. :eek:

    It's interesting how someone would choose to do a radiology residency after a pathology residency....why would someone do that :confused:
     
  6. Ctrhu

    Ctrhu Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    1
    1. Pathology is a vast field. The training takes five years, compared with three for IM and Ped.
    2. Having to take three exams compared with one is not a yard stick for the relative difficulty of the field. Physics Board is now actually taken by lower level residents, so radiologists only have to take 2 exams.
    3. Being named in more lawsuitd is not a good yardstick either. It's the luck of the draw. Most physicians will get sued during their medical carreer. Because radiologists are involved with every single patient in the hospital, they would initially be named in most suits to stay within the statute of limitation. One other problem, many physicians have developed the habit of blaming others for their malpractice - favorite targets: radiologists and anesthesiologists. Because these referring physicians maintain good relationships with their patients. Their patients tend to forgive their mistakes. But because the radiologist is someone they don't know, they rather sue the radiologist first, as long as money is coming from somewhere.
    4. You switch from pathology, dealing with tissues, autopses etc to Radiology because the field is exciting, lots of patient and physician contact, with twice or moe the income potential. Sad but true, Pathology is among the easiest specialty to enter. Many if the residents would have chosen Radiology, if they had the grade.
     

Share This Page