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Who the hecks applying for path this year?

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Mindy, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    Well guys and gals, I am feeling victorious at our new forum here!
    (And to consider that I am communicating with the next wave of pathologists--my future colleagues!) I am actually very excited.

    :D

    Here are my stats: MSIV looking to stay north of Virginia and east of Ohio. I'd like a decent academic department with respectable NIH funding. I love surgical pathology, am markedly less experienced in clinical pathology, and have a bent (wish I didn't) toward forensics. I want to be able to research during residency.

    Who else is applying this year? Interests? Areas?

    Who are our residents (of course everyone knows the Great Pumpkin!) Any advice for us fledglings?

    Thoughts on the future of pathology? Job market? I've done quite a bit of soul-searching (much of it documented on SDN!) over what I wanted in a career and what the next wave of pathology is going to be like. In short, I think that the field of medicine is changing overall (though maybe not as rapidly now that the Clinton era has ended), and that pathology is a major component of that change. While I was at first somewhat threatened by these changes (both real and perceived), I now hope to be a part of the next generation of pathology.

    Job market-wise: steady for now, the reduction to 4 years (and for us PSFs, they are thinking that our fellowship year will count toward residency--3 years!) may result in a flooding when the 4th and 5th years graduate. Most residents are easily getting jobs *now* though. What will it be like when I graduate? Who knows...

    Okay, these are some thoughts, unsolicited, but hey, I'm trying to get a discussion going here...

    Glad we have a home!

    Mindy
     
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  3. lutz

    lutz Member

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    I am also applying for path this year and hoping to stay east of Ohio. Now that we have a forum I have a few questions!

    Anyone know what the top path programs are? How competitive does one have to be for these positions?
    When is the best time to apply/interview?

    Thanks!

    :D
     
  4. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    Hey Lutz!

    "best" programs: from what I've gathered, they are what you'd expect: the boston brothers, Cornell, Columbia, Penn, Johns hopkins. At least in the area I'm applying. I have no idea what order to put them into.

    Competition: ?
    Last years match stats show 49.7% (198 out of 398) positions went to U.S. grads. I had a friend in last year's match (this is not a mythical friend, you can find her listed as a PGY-1 at Penn), who was wined and dined by the best programs from Chicago east. She had killer Step 1s and had been a post-soph. fellow. Dr. Kumar (new chicago chair and editor of robbin's) was personally e-mailing her. BUT...

    last year this gal was our only applicant to pathology. This year, there are 6 :eek: , yup 6, pathology applicants from my school. I went from feeling as if I could just knock on the door of any program I wanted, to gettin' the heaby-jeabies about it. Six applicants from each school would *double* the number of U.S. applicants per position. I am hoping that this a phenomenon at my school only!

    So how competitive for the best programs? I really don't know. I am applying broadly and ranking long. I have no desire to be left out of the loop come match day, based on an over-inflated sense of self. (but would I be suited for pathology if my glass wasn't often half empty :rolleyes: ?)

    Any other thoughts anyone?

    Mindy
     
  5. blueintheface

    blueintheface Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm also MSIV applying for pathology this year and I also did a PSF (post-sophomore fellowship). I never really considered going into anything else seriously, except maybe medicine, but since my PSF its been path all the way. Not exactly sure where in pathology I'm leaning yet, like Mindy, I have an interest in forensics but really enjoy surg path and would also like to be able to do some basic science or at least translational research. Some of the programs I'm considering are Penn, Columbia, Cornell, U-Wash, Hopkins, UTSW, and the Boston programs. Most of the programs I will be applying to will be concentrated in the NE - esp. NYC area. Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself to the fine people in this new forum of ours, plus I'm procrastinating from studying for my psychiatry clerkship shelf tomorrow.

    Anyone started writing their PS yet?
     
  6. pines

    pines New Member

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    I'm a MSIII who is beginning to see that taking care of patients isn't as exciting to me as actually learning about the science of medicine. Recently I've been considering Pathology. I have pretty good board scores and grades. I was what coud I do to make myself more competitive. Also how could I get more exposure to the specialty.
     
  7. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer

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    The increased interest in path has been happening for about 2 years now. But, who knows maybe this year will be a break out year. I will know more once we start getting applications.

    Word of caution about all these "best" programs everyone keeps talking about. Make sure you fit in no matter how great the reputation it is not worth 4 years of misery if it doesn't fit. Some of these programs have a reputation for working the residents to death. Normally this is not something you think about for path, but make sure you find out what the true work day is like for the residents on surg path.

    Job market and fellowship positions will be interesting the year I graduate with two classes finishing at same time. It is worrisome for everyone.
     
  8. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    I have to say, overall at least in forum-style, we do seem like a good gang of folks, don't we? Speaks wonders about the quality of people who decide to be pathologists, I think.

    I've put together a personal statement. It's slightly controversial, a little dry, and short. My dean didn't like it, the pathologists I showed it to did (but they know me too well.) I am considering tossing it and starting over. :(

    GP, you are probably more than right about the "fitting in" part of residency. I am particularly leary of big-city life, particularly finding an apartment with 2 beloved pet bunnies (house bunnies, no cages) and a lizard.

    Blue, that PSF was life-changing, wasn't it? (Or did you already know you were going for pathology?)

    Mindy
     
  9. blueintheface

    blueintheface Member

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    Yes, Mindy, doing a PSF was probably the best decision I made during medical school. I actually did it between my third and fourth years - after I had finished most of my clerkships and realized that I didn't really like anything I had seen so far. But a few months into my PSF I was sure that I wanted to do pathology. There's just something aesthetically pleasing about reading slides, hearing them click on the stage, etc, its all kind of zen - heh. I'm still working on a way to articulate this for my personal statement so bear with me. :) What is your understanding of getting advanced credit for the PSF? I was going on the assumption that it was automatic, but maybe it isn't. Even if I didn't get credit though, I'm glad I did it, because it saved me from a career of doing something I really didn't enjoy.

    As for trends in path applicants, my school has been fairly steady in the last few years, about 2-3 matching per year, but there has definitely been an increased interest amongst the current 4th years. I have also heard from a lot of residents and attendings who said they wanted to do pathology but didn't apply for one reason or another, usually lack of patient contact or lack of exposure during medical school. I think there is a lot of self-selection in the application process, with those who ultimately go into pathology being more academically or scientifically oriented, which makes the high unfilled rate a little misleading since at least the pathology applicants I know generally have pretty high board scores and grades. And we're not nearly as socially dysfunctional as radiologists or surgeons. (ok that was an unwarranted, unprovoked jab at our colleagues but I'm a little woozy right now from having just taken my psych shelf exam - man, was it long!)
     
  10. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    Talked with my program director about the credit for the psf. He thinks its going to fly (I guess the decision will be made at the Pathology Chairs [?] meeting this fall.) I actually am not sure I want to take it. I think 3 years is awfully short for residency. though tagging on a surg path fellowship would be nice before specializing even further.

    Zen and the click... I think it'll make a perfect essay!

    Mindy
     
  11. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Socially dsysfunctional... Why you little... Doh! :)
     
  12. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun

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    Yeah...what he said!:p
     
  13. HairlessHeart

    HairlessHeart Member

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    Will someone enlighten me as to what exactly a post-sophomore fellowship is?? After all, it did seem to be an important experience for some of you.
     
  14. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    Hairless: The PSF is essentially a first year pathology residency position for medical students who have completed the basic science years. I am sure that the criteria differ for each institution. I think the point of it is to help take the burden off of departments with too few residents. In any case, it was life-altering for me. If you search Post-Sophomore in these forums, I am sure there is a bunch of info that I remember vaguely writing about it. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they may like pathology, or needs a "year off" from medical school.

    Mindy
     

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