Why some folks on the Radiology forum did not choose Pathology

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Unty

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So I went over to the Radiology forum and asked them why they may have not chosen or thought about Pathology as a career choice. Since both of our fields have relatively little patient contact, I thought asking those in the Radiology forum would be the best people to ask about Pathology and whether they even considered it.

Here are some of the answers. You can see the thread here:

Why not Pathology?

To summarize, main reasons were the job market, lack of exposure to the field and misconceptions about the field such as all we do are autopsies or gross. Some mentioned the bad smells. This is another evidence med students don’t know what we really do.

Thanks pathslides for contributing. What you mentioned I think for the most part is true.

Here is what they mentioned:

-I really liked my pathology rotation. Through the internet and the fellows I spoke with it seemed like the job market issues were real (not that rads doesn't have its own problems)



-Because I have been reading SDN since I was a premed and got the message about pathology early on.



-People don't want to have a hard time getting a job after residency and heck! they want to make 500k/yr...



-I think the main thing is underexposure to path



-In addition you see all these posts on the internet about how much the path job market sucks.



-i bet once path becomes digitized and you are looking at tissues on monitors instead of microscopes it will be way more popular.



-It seemed like unless we were doing frozen sections very little contact with consultants occurred in path while during my rads rotation it seemed like consultants either came to the reading room or called quite frequently.



-Money is only a part of what drives med student interest but when you constantly hear about how poor the job market is for path (true or not) it really weeds out people who might consider it.



-Your job market is simply terrible. I wasn’t under the impression this would be news.



-But ultimately decided that I want to choose my geographic location and make more than 200k. There was too much negativity around path that i didn't like.



-Dealing with dead bodies and organ specimens freaks me out. The smell in a path department is disgusting. I also have a strong astigmatism which made microscopes hard to use.



-I never got the scope ergonomics right so I would feel nauseated after a while



-yeah, i hate looking into a microscope. gives me a headache.



-They need to cut training spots by at least 50%.



-Much more interested in macro-anatomy than micro-anatomy, if that makes any sense.



-Considered path but didn't like my rotation and the day to day; autopsies were very depressing and morbid, couldn't stand the smell of specimens, job market was not good. Also looking at microscopes made me dizzy. Also wanted some patient contact.



-Yea. The microscope was an annoyance. The dead bodies and smells were enough to make me not even consider it



-Pathology seems too slow-paced for me. As a gamer, I always was more into first person shooters and other action games than I ever was into, say, chess or turn-based games.



-The only appeal to path was the hours in private practice. I liked the idea of getting my stack of slides in the morning, reading them, and then leaving when the work was done.



- Kept getting headaches with looking into a microscope all day



- Kept falling asleep on the other side of the microscope when the attending was reading slides



- Thought I would love autopsies until the attending opened the bowel on my first autopsy and the smell was unbearable (otherwise not squeamish)



- On the topic of forensics, I had a really hard time with autopsy cases of child abuse, even on a ppt slide ( although must be a fraction of cases)



- Felt that the breadth of pathology was pretty limited (disproportionate amount of cancer)



- No patient contact (at least that I saw during my elective), while there is a decent amount in rads



- Low salaries (less important)



- Bad job market



-I didn't mind doing autopsies until my 3rd week into a forensic pathology rotation where the sheer number of gruesome and tragic murders (this is in a high crime city) we had to work finally started to take an emotional toll on me. The smell and body fluids I could handle (even the rotting or burnt cadavers), but having to open these bodies after knowing their tragic stories became a bit much.



-most people did not go to medical school to spend hours a day looking at slides through a microscope for the rest of their working lives.



-I knew radiology would provide me with a better career path.



-IMO the only strict advantages of a pathology career are a better lifestyle (which comes at the cost of pay and geographic restriction), and closeness with basic science research (which is probably actually a disadvantage since most of us want to avoid that).



-Lastly this might just be in my area, but there is the feeling that the autonomy in pathology has long ago been crushed by administrators in hospitals and corporations.



-To find a decent pathology job one often needs to move, sometimes several states over.



-Radiology: Money, prestige, flexibility, good job market, interesting work

Pathology: You suffocate daily from all the chemicals and dyes

-Academic path has destroyed the field as there are numerous garbage programs with such low specimen volumes or lack of specimen complexity who are just using residents as grossing monkeys. They end up putting out subpar residents thereby saturating the field. How the acgme allows such programs to exist boggles my mind. Field saturation is what allows many of theses academic programs to treat pathologists the way they do.
 

Unty

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Well said pathslides, thanks for contributing and clearing some misconceptions about the field.


For context for peeps considering path - I have been in practice for a few years
1) I have grossed a total of 2 times- most groups use PAs.
2) I have done a total of 3 autopsies (which entails me just looking at slides, the PA does everything else. I see no mess or encounter any smells).
3) I have a motorized stand up desk with a motorized microscope for optimal ergonomics and a decreased sedentary work life.
4) 95% of radiologists will make more money and have more vacation than the typical pathologist, but I make >350k (employed so only increases a bit each year) with 6 weeks vacation for 40-45 hrs/wk on avg and home each day to chill with family - this is completely fine with me.
5) 95% of my weekends are free.
6) I do side work with AI companies and computational path has really neat tech but is no where near replacing pathologists.
7) Try to avoid a career in academic pathology if you are thinking of path. For the most part, Academic pathology is what has destroyed the field (25%-33% of institutions are great, the rest are worthless).
8)Residency does have lots of grossing which sucks but is mainly your first year and you see neat things and learn a bunch during sign out and preview time. Overall residency is laid back and working more than 45 hours in a week was rare and after first year, grossing decreases and slide time skyrockets ( obviously programs will vary).
9) Radiology has a superior job market, that’s 100% fact.
10) Most physicians have no idea what a pathologist does which contributes to the lack of respect in the field.
11) 90% of the time, pressure is low. If I don’t feel like working on a case I can just push it to the side for the next day or if it’s too hard/complex, I just ship the case out to a respected academic center and sleep well at night.
 
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Thanks Unity- this was great and very informative. One big takeaway I see is just how much others are coming to our forum and reading the posts to get an impression of the field. The problem I see is that I don't think all the voices are really representing the field accurately, and tend to distort perceptions considerably.

The decisions people make are entirely personal, and we should understand that not everyone views decision making the same way regarding careers. What's funny is that while both fields are diagnostic, I never for a second considered Rads. Similarly, while the advice above was to avoid academic programs, if it wasn't for academia I would never have chosen Path either (I probably would have gone with surgery), although I ended up leaving academia anyway. To each their own.
 
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Unty

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Although it’s a small sample size of people, what people mentioned can be taken as a reflection of how medical students view pathology. I agree most med students don’t know what we do other than grossing or autopsies.

I also think it takes a certain person to do and enjoy pathology. Like someone said most go into medicine NOT thinking they would look down a microscope all their lives, so that’s why Pathology also may not be favored amongst some to most medical students.
 
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ScubaV

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There's definitely a middle ground to the job market that gets some representation, but is mostly drowned out.

Thrombus and his acolytes are basically the equivalent of callers for a late night radio program about aliens and conspiracy theories. They talk a lot and there may be a kernel of truth buried somewhere, but the signal to noise ratio is just terrible.

On the other side, rirriri and BU Pathology are completely out of touch with anything outside the academic bubble. They try to provide a counterbalance to the above, but I don't think their benign ignorance (best case) or active bias (worst case) helps the cause much.

I think the job market is okay, which is kind of damning with faint praise. You probably won't make as much as other specialists (i.e. radiology) and your geographical options are severely limited, especially when considering that you'll probably have to choose between money and location. I'm pretty happy with my job, but it was also the only offer I had. I can't imagine doing any specialty other than pathology and I like the work, but I also don't think I can recommend it to someone who would still be happy in another field.

Edit: To expand more on the topic at hand, I considered both radiology and pathology since I was always interested in less patient contact. I did rotations for both and pathology just felt like a more comfortable fit. Medical students considering them should definitely do rotations in each, but also understand that neither rotation is very representative of the actual life of a resident or physician in that field. In both, you're largely sitting around watching someone else do all the work and it's frankly kind of boring to not be more involved.
 
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Unty

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There's definitely a middle ground to the job market that gets some representation, but is mostly drowned out.

Thrombus and his acolytes are basically the equivalent of callers for a late night radio program about aliens and conspiracy theories. They talk a lot and there may be a kernel of truth buried somewhere, but the signal to noise ratio is just terrible.

On the other side, rirriri and BU Pathology are completely out of touch with anything outside the academic bubble. They try to provide a counterbalance to the above, but I don't think their benign ignorance (best case) or active bias (worst case) helps the cause much.

I think the job market is okay, which is kind of damning with faint praise. You probably won't make as much as other specialists (i.e. radiology) and your geographical options are severely limited, especially when considering that you'll probably have to choose between money and location. I'm pretty happy with my job, but it was also the only offer I had. I can't imagine doing any specialty other than pathology and I like the work, but I also don't think I can recommend it to someone who would still be happy in another field.

Edit: To expand more on the topic at hand, I considered both radiology and pathology since I was always interested in less patient contact. I did rotations for both and pathology just felt like a more comfortable fit. Medical students considering them should definitely do rotations in each, but also understand that neither rotation is very representative of the actual life of a resident or physician in that field. In both, you're largely sitting around watching someone else do all the work and it's frankly kind of boring to not be more involved.

“I'm pretty happy with my job, but it was also the only offer I had.”

There you go. The key point that should be taken from this post. That’s not a good job market but an “ok” one.

Some folks on here will label you as less skilled since you got one job offer or they will say you are a lowly IMG.

The reality is that there are folks out there getting one offer. If you are lucky to get multiple offers that’s great. My buddy got one offer and applied nationwide to 20-30 jobs.
 
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Well said pathslides, thanks for contributing and clearing some misconceptions about the field.


For context for peeps considering path - I have been in practice for a few years
1) I have grossed a total of 2 times- most groups use PAs.
2) I have done a total of 3 autopsies (which entails me just looking at slides, the PA does everything else. I see no mess or encounter any smells).
3) I have a motorized stand up desk with a motorized microscope for optimal ergonomics and a decreased sedentary work life.
4) 95% of radiologists will make more money and have more vacation than the typical pathologist, but I make >350k (employed so only increases a bit each year) with 6 weeks vacation for 40-45 hrs/wk on avg and home each day to chill with family - this is completely fine with me.
5) 95% of my weekends are free.
6) I do side work with AI companies and computational path has really neat tech but is no where near replacing pathologists.
7) Try to avoid a career in academic pathology if you are thinking of path. For the most part, Academic pathology is what has destroyed the field (25%-33% of institutions are great, the rest are worthless).
8)Residency does have lots of grossing which sucks but is mainly your first year and you see neat things and learn a bunch during sign out and preview time. Overall residency is laid back and working more than 45 hours in a week was rare and after first year, grossing decreases and slide time skyrockets ( obviously programs will vary).
9) Radiology has a superior job market, that’s 100% fact.
10) Most physicians have no idea what a pathologist does which contributes to the lack of respect in the field.
11) 90% of the time, pressure is low. If I don’t feel like working on a case I can just push it to the side for the next day or if it’s too hard/complex, I just ship the case out to a respected academic center and sleep well at night.

Hi there. I'm a medical student in the debate between Rads and Path, and the job/salary thing is a main issue for me. How realistic is it to expect a job situation like yours (ie, > 300k, 6 weeks vacation, chill hours) in a at least decent location (ie, not in the middle of nowhere)?
 

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Its definitely possible depends on which group you land in. There are folks on here making much more than that. There are folks who are partner here making 500+ and 12 weeks vacation. My friends make 250-300k in private and that includes yearly bonus. You can always change jobs and look for something higher paying after 3 years of experience.

Do what you love. The fields are very different although they both have little patient contact. Rads definitely has a better job market and average salary. Path def has chill hours. 8 pm-5 pm M-F. Some places have no call, no frozens, most have no weekends.

As a FYI-I just saw a job ad for rads base salary 400k, start date bonus of 50k and 25,000$ annual retention bonus. You will NEVER see that on a job posted online for pathology. You will rarely if ever see salaries posted online for pathology job ads to try to entice you to go work for them.

It’s because they dont have to. I’m not making any of this up. Do a job search online and look around and you will know what I’m talking about.

I come on here and I don’t sugarcoat things for med students. I say it how it is and if you disagree feel free to prove me wrong.
 
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You know though, a lot of job ads which post salary are crap jobs, right? Even in other fields. I would be interested to see if that radiology job is actually a good job.

Hi there. I'm a medical student in the debate between Rads and Path, and the job/salary thing is a main issue for me. How realistic is it to expect a job situation like yours (ie, > 300k, 6 weeks vacation, chill hours) in a at least decent location (ie, not in the middle of nowhere)?

Based on our hiring experience in the last 3 years, if you train at a good program (hard to define, can be regional), that is realistic. At least where I live. Although it seems to depend on where you want to live and potentially on what duties you expect to do. In the northeast, for example, a huge percentage of jobs are quasi-academic, hospital employee, or reference lab based. Income is obviously more limited in these situations. I don't know if this is true in radiology to the same extent but there are similarities - like 5-10 years ago it was a lot harder for certain types of radiologists to find jobs, but a lot easier for others.

I mean, just using some common sense will tell you - there are twice as many radiologists in the US then there are pathologists, hence twice as many potential positions (and just about twice as many residency grads each year). Smaller fields can have fewer job openings and they can be timing-related.

I would NEVER pick out a career based primarily on your potential income and definitely not based on the type of starting salary you get right out of residency. Job and salary is important but it's also your career for 30 years or more.

The thing about pathology that is definitely harder (IMHO) to gauge is the future of the specialty. I think that's true for most of medicine though. But because of this era of hospital system consolidation and buying out smaller hospitals, smaller hospital pathology groups have been and appear to be continuing to disappear. In some ways that has been a detriment but in other ways it has been beneficial. I'm not sure I would want to work in a 2-3 person small hospital group, for example. Shifting to more outpatient procedures means a different thing if you're working with the big hospital system that also controls the outpatient stuff, as compared to the place that doesn't control it. This is true in radiology too, by the way.
 
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I liked Radiology but hated not being able to provide more concrete answers and also hated all the tedious screening.

i chose my specialty based on what I love not what the job market was like. Perhaps that’s why I feel so content in my place in the world.

people chasing money will never truly be happy, IMO. But making decent money and having work they can really get into will result in higher chances of being pleased.

For myself and many of my Path friends in academia the job market has been great and I’ve had no complaints. Your mileage may vary but I do think some posters here need to be more responsible with their words and blanket statements. Cut the toxic talk.
 
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Unty

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You know though, a lot of job ads which post salary are crap jobs, right? Even in other fields. I would be interested to see if that radiology job is actually a good job.

Based on our hiring experience in the last 3 years, if you train at a good program (hard to define, can be regional), that is realistic. At least where I live. Although it seems to depend on where you want to live and potentially on what duties you expect to do. In the northeast, for example, a huge percentage of jobs are quasi-academic, hospital employee, or reference lab based. Income is obviously more limited in these situations. I don't know if this is true in radiology to the same extent but there are similarities - like 5-10 years ago it was a lot harder for certain types of radiologists to find jobs, but a lot easier for others.

I mean, just using some common sense will tell you - there are twice as many radiologists in the US then there are pathologists, hence twice as many potential positions (and just about twice as many residency grads each year). Smaller fields can have fewer job openings and they can be timing-related.

I would NEVER pick out a career based primarily on your potential income and definitely not based on the type of starting salary you get right out of residency. Job and salary is important but it's also your career for 30 years or more.

The thing about pathology that is definitely harder (IMHO) to gauge is the future of the specialty. I think that's true for most of medicine though. But because of this era of hospital system consolidation and buying out smaller hospitals, smaller hospital pathology groups have been and appear to be continuing to disappear. In some ways that has been a detriment but in other ways it has been beneficial. I'm not sure I would want to work in a 2-3 person small hospital group, for example. Shifting to more outpatient procedures means a different thing if you're working with the big hospital system that also controls the outpatient stuff, as compared to the place that doesn't control it. This is true in radiology too, by the way.

Crap job paying 400k? Sure money isn’t everything. There’s a saying: one man's trash is another man's treasure.

With bonuses that amount to 500k+? Crap is all relative. What do you mean by crap? Long hours? Working all weekend every weekend? Looking at boring, non-intellectually stimulating imaging studies all day, whatever that is (I’m not a radiologist btw)? Bad location? No research or teaching? Crap to you might be a great job for someone else.

Yes I agree I would not base my future on money but solely on interests. I’m not trying to say base your future on money but just here trying to illustrate the better job market in radiology and how the job market in pathology is a lackluster one at best.

Here’s another job in southern Ohio:

Looking for a Board Certified/Board Eligible Radiologist to join our well established, hospital employed multispecialty group. Must be fellowship trained in MSK. Monday - Friday dayshift. Holiday/weekend rotation 1:7 (dayshift)
The salary range is $455,000-572,000.

  • Moving expense - $10,000 paid to a moving company
  • Sign-on Bonus - 15% of base salary up to $100,000
  • Excellent bonus incentives up to 30% of salary
  • $200,000 Medical Student Loan Repayment
  • Up to $25,000 Residency/Fellowship Stipend
SOMC is a 248 bed, not for profit community hospital in Portsmouth, OH. We are Joint Commission accredited and have achieved Magnet status for nursing. Our service patient population is 250,000. We have been ranked by FORTUNE 100 magazine as one of the best places to work for the last 11 years, also ranking as the #1 employer in the state of Ohio. We attribute much of this to the culture of SOMC. If you want to practice in one of the most challenging and rewarding environments in the country, this may be the place for you.

The higher pay because of the location I’m guessing. But my point is that some radiology jobs, based on my online search, have to ENTICE you to go work for them. You won’t see this (rarely) in Pathology job ads because there will always be someone willing to take the job, be it an American grad or foreign grad.

Why am I comparing Pathology to other fields? To illustrate the differences in job markets for those who are considering pathology. I’ve brought up dermatology in the past because IMO they are a good model of how the leaders have protected their field from degradation.

You mentioned in your post the phrase “if you train at a good program”. So what about those who trained at lesser known programs (although these programs will still train you adequately). Do they just fall to the curb? Are you saying their job prospects are dimmer for those who trained at good programs?

A good field will allow all of its trainees good job opportunities.

So you’re saying there are a lot of programs out there, that if you train at, you will have issues garnering a good job and pay?

In another post you mentioned that those who were struggling to find a job were “poorly skilled candidates.” You also mentioned in a previous post “there were too many programs”. Correct me if I’m wrong. All of what you’ve stated before proves the point that there are garbage programs (or oversupply of trading slots) out there who train candidates poorly or garbage residents or both. I’m sure there are folks from well known institutions that have issues too. You previously mentioned you had folks apply for your group (from good programs?) who just only wanted to sign out one subspecialty or do only one thing. To me that’s a poorly skilled candidate.

No I’m not trying to scare off anyone from pathology. I want to portray the reality of pathology as a field and the pathology job market.

The candidates you hired got multiple offers? That’s great to hear. There are folks who only got one offer, just like the previous poster and a buddy I know. It’s variable. I know someone else who got multiple offers as well. I know someone who had to work starting at 180k at an outpatient lab signing out GI biopsies. Her salary gradually increased 20-30k every 6 months however. That may be a crap job to you but may be the only job one can get for another person. She has eventually moved on to a corporate job.

Again, all you need is one job offer at a place you will be happy.

Pathology is a great field if you enjoy it. There are issues in Pathology that med students should be aware of which is the lackluster job market. Sure every field has issues but I think if the job market is an issue this is important for medical students to know.

You will be able to get a job in this field, wherever that may be, because everyone I know has a job. It’s just you may have to move to get a job although I don’t wish that for anyone.


I’ve looked at online job postings for pp pathology jobs near Chicago and Boston, only found a few to no jobs. Like I said before, Feel free to prove me wrong. The NE and the Chicagoland area are notoriously tight job markets.
 
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Unty

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I liked Radiology but hated not being able to provide more concrete answers and also hated all the tedious screening.

i chose my specialty based on what I love not what the job market was like. Perhaps that’s why I feel so content in my place in the world.

people chasing money will never truly be happy, IMO. But making decent money and having work they can really get into will result in higher chances of being pleased.

For myself and many of my Path friends in academia the job market has been great and I’ve had no complaints. Your mileage may vary but I do think some posters here need to be more responsible with their words and blanket statements. Cut the toxic talk.

That says it all. “Path friends in academia.” Academic jobs are plentiful you will have no issues finding a job in academics if you go into Pathology.

It’s not toxic at all. It’s a discussion. I’m not saying FLEE PATHOLOGY. I’m not saying Pathology is a downtrodden field as another poster has. Now that’s toxic. I don’t sugarcoat things.

I’m asking you to post a single online private practice job (not academics) in the Chicagoland or Boston area, I haven’t heard back.

We can then compare the number of jobs you find to the number of graduates from all those training programs.
 
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Unty

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There's definitely a middle ground to the job market that gets some representation, but is mostly drowned out.

Thrombus and his acolytes are basically the equivalent of callers for a late night radio program about aliens and conspiracy theories. They talk a lot and there may be a kernel of truth buried somewhere, but the signal to noise ratio is just terrible.

On the other side, rirriri and BU Pathology are completely out of touch with anything outside the academic bubble. They try to provide a counterbalance to the above, but I don't think their benign ignorance (best case) or active bias (worst case) helps the cause much.

I think the job market is okay, which is kind of damning with faint praise. You probably won't make as much as other specialists (i.e. radiology) and your geographical options are severely limited, especially when considering that you'll probably have to choose between money and location. I'm pretty happy with my job, but it was also the only offer I had. I can't imagine doing any specialty other than pathology and I like the work, but I also don't think I can recommend it to someone who would still be happy in another field.

Edit: To expand more on the topic at hand, I considered both radiology and pathology since I was always interested in less patient contact. I did rotations for both and pathology just felt like a more comfortable fit. Medical students considering them should definitely do rotations in each, but also understand that neither rotation is very representative of the actual life of a resident or physician in that field. In both, you're largely sitting around watching someone else do all the work and it's frankly kind of boring to not be more involved.
How many places did you contact or apply to and out of those how many places called u back or showed interest?
 
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Radia is a decent radiology group. Here is one of their job postings.

Radia is hiring a board certified/board eligible Pediatric Radiologist to join our practice in Seattle, Washington. The position is 26 weeks a year.
This daytime (7a - 4p) job offers scheduling and income flexibility.
This is a shareholder track position.
First year guaranteed compensation for 26 weeks of work is $362,300.
First year salary with maximum incentive compensation, for 26 weeks, is $398,000.
2018 Shareholder compensation for this position is ~$433,150.

Work a hospitalists schedule in a very desirable location and make over 350k starting and over 425k as partner.
 

Unty

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Thanks for contributing.
Radia is a decent radiology group. Here is one of their job postings.

Radia is hiring a board certified/board eligible Pediatric Radiologist to join our practice in Seattle, Washington. The position is 26 weeks a year.
This daytime (7a - 4p) job offers scheduling and income flexibility.
This is a shareholder track position.
First year guaranteed compensation for 26 weeks of work is $362,300.
First year salary with maximum incentive compensation, for 26 weeks, is $398,000.
2018 Shareholder compensation for this position is ~$433,150.

Work a hospitalists schedule in a very desirable location and make over 350k starting and over 425k as partner.
Are you in radiology? Jobs like these are far and few in private practice in Pathology or at least ever advertised.

I guess this must be a crap job to some ppl in this forum. Jobs that put out salary figures in job ads must do so because it’s a crap job. Smh some ppl are clueless.
 
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Hi there. I'm a medical student in the debate between Rads and Path, and the job/salary thing is a main issue for me. How realistic is it to expect a job situation like yours (ie, > 300k, 6 weeks vacation, chill hours) in a at least decent location (ie, not in the middle of nowhere)?
In pathology extremely unlikely to get an offer this good right out of training anywhere. In certain markets impossible. I have mentioned Boston before as difficult - it is not just Boston but all of NE is tight. Others have mentioned Chicago. Also add So Cal to the list.

I also hear The mid Atlantic area from DC, Baltimore, Philly NYC all you’ll get in these cities are academic jobs (but I have not ever looked in these markets).

I believe the market is super over saturated in some areas. So many trainees are just hanging out in Boston Fellowships doing one after another until they can find a job in academia that they will likely leave in less than 5 yrs for only a decent job. This is really bad for the field imo.

if you like both I think you should look at compensation, opportunities, etc carefully. Unless you are already wealthy making 100k more / yr in your mid to late 30s, compounding this x-tra $ for 15 yrs can be a game changer. Money might not buy you happiness but your vaca house, setting your kids up for success, being able to afford five star traveling, 75K dollar cars, etc usually improves ones mood. Besides In the unlikely event you end up hating rads -just retire at 55.
 
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Alteran

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Most private practice jobs in pathology start in the low $200K range and have a 3 year contract with no guarantee of having it either renewed or being made partner after that. One local group (not mine) doesn’t renew any of the contracts to their new hires after 3 years - just before they become partner eligible by their group’s bylaws. This is quite commonplace in pathology. Pathologists will bounce around the nation like they’re in a pachinko machine until years later they land in a practice they can call home.

It’s not like this doesn’t happen in radiology though. The only difference is that radiology folks have much, much better options than pathologists. Even the bad ones.
 
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Unty

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In pathology extremely unlikely to get an offer this good right out of training anywhere. In certain markets impossible. I have mentioned Boston before as difficult - it is not just Boston but all of NE is tight. Others have mentioned Chicago. Also add So Cal to the list.

I also hear The mid Atlantic area from DC, Baltimore, Philly NYC all you’ll get in these cities are academic jobs (but I have not ever looked in these markets).

I believe the market is super over saturated in some areas. So many trainees are just hanging out in Boston Fellowships doing one after another until they can find a job in academia that they will likely leave in less than 5 yrs for only a decent job. This is really bad for the field imo.

if you like both I think you should look at compensation, opportunities, etc carefully. Unless you are already wealthy making 100k more / yr in your mid to late 30s, compounding this x-tra $ for 15 yrs can be a game changer. Money might not buy you happiness but your vaca house, setting your kids up for success, being able to afford five star traveling, 75K dollar cars, etc usually improves ones mood. Besides In the unlikely event you end up hating rads -just retire at 55.

Careful what you say. Some folks on here will disagree with you and say pathology has a great job market.

Some will say you are a complainer and probably poorly skilled because you can’t get a job or any offers.

Some will say they know people with multiple job offers and if you get only one offer you must have not gone to a good program or you are a poor candidate.

Some will say you are toxic and that you shouldn't say anything bad because this forum is only for medical students. Hush let’s not say anything bad about the job market.

Others will say you should go retrain in another field.

Listen to folks like meddirector who talks about the truth with no sugarcoating.

I should do something about it? Go to CAP and tell them the job market isn’t good? They will just show me data and publications from CAP journals that the job market is good and that I’m a complainer.

What I see in these articles that the job market is stable or good is very different than what I see online in regards to a job search. What MedDirector mentioned further supports what I’ve been saying. There are others I’ve talked to who mentioned the same thing to me.
 

Unty

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Most private practice jobs in pathology start in the low $200K range and have a 3 year contract with no guarantee of having it either renewed or being made partner after that. One local group (not mine) doesn’t renew any of the contracts to their new hires after 3 years - just before they become partner eligible by their group’s bylaws. This is quite commonplace in pathology. Pathologists will bounce around the nation like they’re in a pachinko machine until years later they land in a practice they can call home.

It’s not like this doesn’t happen in radiology though. The only difference is that radiology folks have much, much better options than pathologists. Even the bad ones.

Thanks for your input. I thought I was the only “toxic” person here in this forum.

It’s when we have the free exchange of information and experiences from private practice pathologists can we really understand how it’s like in private practice.
 
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Med Director New England

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Thanks for your input. I thought I was the only “toxic” person here in this forum.

It’s when we have the free exchange of information and experiences from private practice pathologists can we really understand how it’s like in private practice.
It is interesting that the reasonable contrarians on SDN to the “everything is fine in pathology” mantra are criticized. By reasonable I don’t consider thrombus Et al to be reasonable.

clearly there was an intentional faked post recently - the 150k sign on bonus right out of fellowship story. To anyone familiar with path That’s About as believable as saying I got a trillion, gazilllion dollar offer...I directly called it out, a few others did too (indirectly) and the person never responds. Meanwhile some accuse me and others of posting misleading information on SDN ?! You guys cheerleading for pathology were oddly silent about this post, which you know for certain was false.

Again no one mid career in pathology has anything to gain by scaring applicants from the field. I will continue to advise Med students to do your due diligence, talk to people you trust, etc. Feel free to pm me, pm others - try to get as much info as possible. You really can’t go back mid career and retrain (as has been suggested here).
 
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HeyDalaron

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It is interesting that the reasonable contrarians on SDN to the “everything is fine in pathology” mantra are criticized. By reasonable I don’t consider thrombus Et al to be reasonable.

clearly there was an intentional faked post recently - the 150k sign on bonus right out of fellowship story. To anyone familiar with path That’s About as believable as saying I got a trillion, gazilllion dollar offer...I directly called it out, a few others did too (indirectly) and the person never responds. Meanwhile some accuse me and others of posting misleading information on SDN ?! You guys cheerleading for pathology were oddly silent about this post, which you know for certain was false.

Again no one mid career in pathology has anything to gain by scaring applicants from the field. I will continue to advise Med students to do your due diligence, talk to people you trust, etc. Feel free to pm me, pm others - try to get as much info as possible. You really can’t go back mid career and retrain (as has been suggested here).

That shill poster might have been a medical student or FMG trying to drum up support for pathology to reduce competition in whatever field they were hoping to apply for. They shot too high though, and their plan failed.
 
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SetecAstronomy

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In the mid-Atlantic area. Saturated market confirmed. Every single resident resident in my program has gone into academia, industry or government for the past several years. As far as I know, no has gone into private practice for some time now. Then again, my program selected for research nerds in the first place, so...
 

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Rads market is better in my area but I have been seeing many groups tossed out and replaced with radiology's version of Ameripath in recent years.

The only pitch for pathology at this point is lifestyle. Are you willing to tolerate lack of job security, geographic limitations, lower wages, and exploitation by other specialists for the hours?

Youngsters in the pathology, start businesses, make investments as soon as you can. Don't rely on this field solely to put food on the table.
 
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yaah

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Crap job paying 400k? Sure money isn’t everything. There’s a saying: one man's trash is another man's treasure.

With bonuses that amount to 500k+? Crap is all relative. What do you mean by crap? Long hours? Working all weekend every weekend? Looking at boring, non-intellectually stimulating imaging studies all day, whatever that is (I’m not a radiologist btw)? Bad location? No research or teaching? Crap to you might be a great job for someone else.

(SNIP)

You mentioned in your post the phrase “if you train at a good program”. So what about those who trained at lesser known programs (although these programs will still train you adequately). Do they just fall to the curb? Are you saying their job prospects are dimmer for those who trained at good programs?

A good field will allow all of its trainees good job opportunities.

So you’re saying there are a lot of programs out there, that if you train at, you will have issues garnering a good job and pay?

In another post you mentioned that those who were struggling to find a job were “poorly skilled candidates.” You also mentioned in a previous post “there were too many programs”. Correct me if I’m wrong. All of what you’ve stated before proves the point that there are garbage programs (or oversupply of trading slots) out there who train candidates poorly or garbage residents or both. I’m sure there are folks from well known institutions that have issues too. You previously mentioned you had folks apply for your group (from good programs?) who just only wanted to sign out one subspecialty or do only one thing. To me that’s a poorly skilled candidate.

My goodness, my friend. I did not say that job was a crap job. I said it might be. If you can distinguish a crap job from a non crap job based on a one sentence blurb then good for you. And if you think there aren't crap radiology jobs, well I can't help you. Maybe you've never met radiologists who talk about jobs where they have endless signout at terrible hours, bad support, and multiple locations, and how it isn't worth extra $. Do you honestly think I don't get the fact that one person's crap job is another person's dream job?
The other ads posted are more realistic sounding and better jobs than the original one that was posted. I am not here to argue the radiology job market. I'm sure it's great. If it is, it's a lot better than 10 years ago when it apparently was considered bad. I am not a radiologist. I don't plan on being a radiologist. If pathology dies as a field I doubt I would go back and train to do that. Whether or not it is better than pathology (presumably better) is also irrelevant for all except the rare individuals who really would like both and want to do one of them.

As far as "poorly-qualified candidates" I am not sure what you all want me to say on this - do I think everyone who trains at a US program and graduates should be guaranteed a great job? I don't know - are they competent, qualified pathologists? Because in my experience not all graduates are competent qualified pathologists. Not all currently practicing pathologists are competent either for every type of job. You can call that an indictment of training programs or of national leadership or whatever you want to call it, I have no argument with you. But when we get applications from candidates who can't complete a sentence, have letters of reference that use the phrase "too arrogant" and things like that, I am not going to want to hire those people to work with me. I have posted many, many times on here that there are too many pathology training programs, and that there are too many training programs that don't have the resources to adequately train many pathologists. Some trainees can rise above this. Many cannot. If programs can't place their graduates into jobs, maybe they should be closed. Unfortunately what tends to happen is that they place them in fellowships and then wash their hands of ever finding out what happens. Have you ever seen program websites which list status of recent graduates? Almost all of them are listed as going on to a fellowship at another institution. The bigger programs will actually have data on actual job placement.

You may think a good job market means candidates like this are working in great jobs for high pay. I am not so sure. I think it's essentially irrelevant. I also don't know how many candidates there are like this - I don't think it's too many though.

I have never said much on here about whether the job market in pathology is good or great or crappy or whatever. All I have done is given my own experience and perspective, which I have said many times, differs quite a bit from the negative voices on this site. I find it all quite perplexing. It's easy for all of you to just go with your bias and dismiss my experience as less than relevant. Go ahead, whether you believe it or not, it's the truth.

I also have no recollection of any post claiming a $150,000 signing bonus. I would tend to doubt that also unless there was some sort of weird special circumstance that isn't applicable to most people. Always be careful of anecdotes, whether positive or negative. You can discount my anecdotes if you want. I'm just a little tired of "private practice pathologists" dismissing my opinion and experience as a private practice pathologist as irrelevant just because it doesn't match with what you want it to be.
 

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You really can’t go back mid career and retrain (as has been suggested here).

Yes you can. You can do whatever you want. I know people who have gone back, including people in their 50s, and retrained. They're usually very happy with their decision. Just because it's difficult and not always practical doesn't mean you can't do it. If a job makes you miserable and stressed out then stop doing the job. Find something else to do. It doesn't even have to be medicine.

Loans are a big problem that might be prohibitive for some. Loans are a ****ty part of medicine these days - they are constraining and confining and limiting. They trap some people in fields or jobs they wouldn't otherwise do. The loan problem is getting worse because tuition is ever increasing but there is tons of pressure on payments to docs. I talk to a fair number of students who are interested in medicine (not just pathology) as a career, my #1 piece of advice to them is to make sure you know what you are getting into with regards to both finances and personal life. Medicine while you are training, and often once you are finished training, can be all-consuming and wreak havoc on personal relationships and personal well being. And if you combine that with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, that's a big problem and a hard one to walk away from.

Again, anecdotes are not only important when they confirm your bias. A lot of you want to dismiss CAP data and such. OK, but without any data of your own the criticism doesn't mean as much. At least they have data.
 
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I also have no recollection of any post claiming a $150,000 signing bonus. I would tend to doubt that also unless there was some sort of weird special circumstance that isn't applicable to most people. Always be careful of anecdotes, whether positive or negative. You can discount my anecdotes if you want. I'm just a little tired of "private practice pathologists" dismissing my opinion and experience as a private practice pathologist as irrelevant just because it doesn't match with what you want it to be.

It was here (first post by LouLou77):

CAP paints rosy job market
 
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I had a call last week from a recruiter offering $600 per day for a 2 week locum pathology job. I said I need more $$$ than that. Recruiter said he was sure he could get someone else for $600 a day since that is the "going rate". Imo if that is the going rate then the going rate is *hit.
 
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tradersluck

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Although it’s a small sample size of people, what people mentioned can be taken as a reflection of how medical students view pathology. I agree most med students don’t know what we do other than grossing or autopsies.

I also think it takes a certain person to do and enjoy pathology. Like someone said most go into medicine NOT thinking they would look down a microscope all their lives, so that’s why Pathology also may not be favored amongst some to most medical students.
This is a factor even before medical school. I explicitly remember telling my SO (a lab tech) that I will absolutely not be pursing pathology. That was before I started school.

Yeah, that was a joke. After histology I really don't want to do anything but path... Boy am I gonna miss histo during M2.

Sent from my SM-G960U using SDN mobile
 

Med Director New England

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Yes you can. You can do whatever you want. I know people who have gone back, including people in their 50s, and retrained. They're usually very happy with their decision. Just because it's difficult and not always practical doesn't mean you can't do it. If a job makes you miserable and stressed out then stop doing the job. Find something else to do. It doesn't even have to be medicine.

Loans are a big problem that might be prohibitive for some. Loans are a ****ty part of medicine these days - they are constraining and confining and limiting. They trap some people in fields or jobs they wouldn't otherwise do. The loan problem is getting worse because tuition is ever increasing but there is tons of pressure on payments to docs. I talk to a fair number of students who are interested in medicine (not just pathology) as a career, my #1 piece of advice to them is to make sure you know what you are getting into with regards to both finances and personal life. Medicine while you are training, and often once you are finished training, can be all-consuming and wreak havoc on personal relationships and personal well being. And if you combine that with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, that's a big problem and a hard one to walk away from.

Again, anecdotes are not only important when they confirm your bias. A lot of you want to dismiss CAP data and such. OK, but without any data of your own the criticism doesn't mean as much. At least they have data. I have always wished the ABPath, for example (although I know it's not their mission) would do some kind of survey of boards takers about jobs and the job market. CAP could do this too. Anyone could. ASCP has done some surveys, but with limited methodology and results. I have no idea why it's so hard to survey. The expression "where there's smoke there's fire" should apply here - clearly there is lots of smoke, even if most of it seems to be on these forums.

Never said I was miserable or want to retrain.
I am doing fine, like my work and life balance but unlike you I am not in a strong path owned group with control of a market and am uncertain of my future like a lot of practicing pathologists. But NO I could not retrain if I wanted to. You mention The barrier of loan obligations - and most folks have life changes after residency (mortgage, families, etc) that would not allow retraining. Retraining in general is a bad outcome for anyone - much better just to not put yourself in that position in the 1st place don’t you think. Or I could just leave medicine altogether - thanks a lot for that suggestion sounds like a great idea.

anyhow - I post my experiences and observations SDN truthfully. I suppose my experiences “bias” my viewpoint but Ill work on getting some objective data to stamp out any bias. No problem I’ll just ping the ABP to release to me their trends over the last few years on avg fellowships / trainee and MOC data to see what types of jobs new grads are getting and % underemployed, % unemployed for new grads. Sure they’ll send that right on over...I’ll keep you posted.
 
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yaah

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Again, just because you don't think it's a valid career path doesn't mean it isn't valid for others. It's an extreme step, obviously. It's the kind of step you take when you are trapped and in a no-win situation - i.e., not applicable for most. We are all masters of our own lives to at least some extent. You do it when you hate your job or it wrecks your life to some degree. Based on how some people post on here, it sounds like some people are at that point. NOT EVERYONE!

You don't think I'm uncertain of my future too? Of course I am. Anyone who looks remotely critically at health care in this country should be uncertain. Again, please don't jump to conclusions just because you want to basket my opinions and experiences into the "irrelevant" category.

The snark is so completely unhelpful. You dismiss any data that is posted, but then also dismiss any possibility of countering it because selected anecdotes are more important? I never said your experiences and personal findings are not data, just as I said my personal experiences and such are not reflective of everyone. I'm glad you're posting your observations and opinions - more people should. But each opinion is important. I mean - you think you're not biased, but people with opposite opinions ARE biased?

As I continue to say (and most people seem to ignore), I find the whole situation maddeningly confusing - I am not in the only group that has been struggling to find competent candidates, but yet I also know of people who do struggle. However, there are so many variables in every individual's experiences and needs that it makes individual experiences less than helpful in gauging trends. In addition, the practice of the field itself has been so fluctuant over 20 years that it makes current reality and prior reality not congruent. Hence why data would be helpful. It would get twisted to fit every possible viewpoint, but at least it would be data. Some of you have to be in leadership positions for national organizations, right?
 
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WEBB PINKERTON

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Never said I was miserable or want to retrain.
I am doing fine, like my work and life balance but unlike you I am not in a strong path owned group with control of a market and am uncertain of my future like a lot of practicing pathologists. But NO I could not retrain if I wanted to. You mention The barrier of loan obligations - and most folks have life changes after residency (mortgage, families, etc) that would not allow retraining. Retraining in general is a bad outcome for anyone - much better just to not put yourself in that position in the 1st place don’t you think. Or I could just leave medicine altogether - thanks a lot for that suggestion sounds like a great idea.

anyhow - I post my experiences and observations SDN truthfully. I suppose my experiences “bias” my viewpoint but Ill work on getting some objective data to stamp out any bias. No problem I’ll just ping the ABP to release to me their trends over the last few years on avg fellowships / trainee and MOC data to see what types of jobs new grads are getting and % underemployed, % unemployed for new grads. Sure they’ll send that right on over...I’ll keep you posted.

Screw retraining. For god's sake people get other sources of income. It's not that complicated. You can make a lot of money outside of pathology. Then you don't have to give a crap about the future of healthcare or molecular taking your job.
 

Med Director New England

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Again, just because you don't think it's a valid career path doesn't mean it isn't valid for others. It's an extreme step, obviously. It's the kind of step you take when you are trapped and in a no-win situation - i.e., not applicable for most. We are all masters of our own lives to at least some extent. You do it when you hate your job or it wrecks your life to some degree. Based on how some people post on here, it sounds like some people are at that point. NOT EVERYONE!

You don't think I'm uncertain of my future too? Of course I am. Anyone who looks remotely critically at health care in this country should be uncertain. Again, please don't jump to conclusions just because you want to basket my opinions and experiences into the "irrelevant" category.

The snark is so completely unhelpful. You dismiss any data that is posted, but then also dismiss any possibility of countering it because selected anecdotes are more important? I never said your experiences and personal findings are not data, just as I said my personal experiences and such are not reflective of everyone. I'm glad you're posting your observations and opinions - more people should. But each opinion is important. I mean - you think you're not biased, but people with opposite opinions ARE biased?

As I continue to say (and most people seem to ignore), I find the whole situation maddeningly confusing - I am not in the only group that has been struggling to find competent candidates, but yet I also know of people who do struggle. However, there are so many variables in every individual's experiences and needs that it makes individual experiences less than helpful in gauging trends. In addition, the practice of the field itself has been so fluctuant over 20 years that it makes current reality and prior reality not congruent. Hence why data would be helpful. It would get twisted to fit every possible viewpoint, but at least it would be data. Some of you have to be in leadership positions for national organizations, right?
Ok yaah whatever
Please don’t ban me - I am no thrombus

My comment to you is snarky and unhelpful but you suggesting I retrain or completely leave medicine somehow is not?

i don’t dismiss data that I don’t like but have been a healthy skeptic, pointing out conflicts of the parties collecting the data etc. The data is there that could help shed light on this debate, ABP has it, I mentioned it above. I am not empowered to get it but there are some that could get this.

I do btw think your perspective is helpful and I don’t agree with the way some of the folks are posting - the flee now types. Not sure if you are lumping all the contrarians into one bucket but note that I am not one of the folks ranting and raving, making extreme claims, etc. I am not here trying to scare folks away for malicious intent or to gain anything. I am only posting my experiences so any MS pondering a path career will know what they are getting into - which is IMO a hot mess (again just my opinion, based on my experience, no double blinded controlled study to prove it though). MS can take this info or leave it.

The difficulty you have recruiting good hires - I suggest targeting the PDs of the Boston and Nearby programs. Let them know what you need. There are a lot of good trainees swirling around in the various fellowships and a lot of good jr faculty who really don’t want to be in academia. You might gets some hits this way
 

Guest8

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Screw retraining. For god's sake people get other sources of income. It's not that complicated. You can make a lot of money outside of pathology. Then you don't have to give a crap about the future of healthcare or molecular taking your job.
Not everyone wants to try and run multiple jobs/careers instead of one. Some people just want one job in one field. And sources of income outside pathology aren't guaranteed any more than pathology is. Any business you start could be disrupted, could fail, could run into major problems, etc. There's no free lunch whether it's real estate, franchising, small businesses, stocks/bonds, etc.
 
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Unty

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Screw retraining. For god's sake people get other sources of income. It's not that complicated. You can make a lot of money outside of pathology. Then you don't have to give a crap about the future of healthcare or molecular taking your job.

Not that easy. Not all of us have a business mind nor do we all have business skillz or interest. It’s a lot of hard work setting up and growing your business. Some of us are tired as hell already from the 10 years of medical school and training. Entrepreneurialship isn’t for everyone. Some of us got kids to go home to.
 
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yaah

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Being a healthy skeptic extends to healthy skepticism of one's own opinions as well.

Ok yaah whatever
Please don’t ban me - I am no thrombus

My comment to you is snarky and unhelpful but you suggesting I retrain or completely leave medicine somehow is not?

i don’t dismiss data that I don’t like but have been a healthy skeptic, pointing out conflicts of the parties collecting the data etc. The data is there that could help shed light on this debate, ABP has it, I mentioned it above. I am not empowered to get it but there are some that could get this.

I do btw think your perspective is helpful and I don’t agree with the way some of the folks are posting - the flee now types. Not sure if you are lumping all the contrarians into one bucket but note that I am not one of the folks ranting and raving, making extreme claims, etc. I am not here trying to scare folks away for malicious intent or to gain anything. I am only posting my experiences so any MS pondering a path career will know what they are getting into - which is IMO a hot mess (again just my opinion, based on my experience, no double blinded controlled study to prove it though). MS can take this info or leave it.

The difficulty you have recruiting good hires - I suggest targeting the PDs of the Boston and Nearby programs. Let them know what you need. There are a lot of good trainees swirling around in the various fellowships and a lot of good jr faculty who really don’t want to be in academia. You might gets some hits this way

No one is banning you! You are a great addition to these forums, I appreciate you being here. I try not to lump people in together, but sometimes it's next to impossible to get that across on internet forums posts where one is kind of replying to everyone at once.

As far as retraining, my main point is that no one should feel trapped in a career that they find stifling and limiting and that they regret undertaking. Sometimes life requires radical reassessment, which can include retraining. Again, not for everyone. But for as miserable as some on these forums claim to be, maybe they should consider it. It's like being miserable in a marriage.

And believe me, I know about different ways to try to find candidates. Most of our hires are local trainees. A lot of our hires have come from specific targeting of people years ahead of time. It's just such a massive disconnect between reality and on line impression.

The points people make on here are almost always interesting to me - it seems amazing to me that there are hundreds of new trainees every year entering into the pathology job market (I think - although I would love to know what % of residency graduates take each potential career path be it non-clinical practice, industry employment, academics, or private practice). I think about our own area of the world here. There are I think about 20 or so new grads that enter the job market every year here, although since many go elsewhere for fellowship the number who want to stay here probably fluctuates signficantly. I know most if not all get jobs. But I feel like there are not 20 open path positions every year in the same catchment area. But maybe there are? I wish these data were easier to access and collect. I have been imploring for more studies for years on here, the only things that come out are vague studies, mostly from CAP, which talk about % of practicing pathologists who anticipate hiring, retiring, that kind of thing. Should be easier!
 

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Yaah, when your group is looking for new hires, you may want to target some of the large U.S. Military teaching hospitals,eg. Bethesda/Walter Reed, SanDiego, etc. You will generally be looking at a population of American born and trained, board certified paths with 2-3 years post residency REAL experience. Many will also have a limited clinical background with an internship and a year or two of general practice. Most will tend to be jack- of-all-trade types who understand the concept of paying ones dues and teamwork. They will also lack the stink of desperation associated with tons of debt. In general, as a group, the best hires we made were ex military.(please note i am generalizing). Also, there is a refreshing lack of snobbery and arrogance among that cohort. I am, of course, referring to the ones who do not choose to stay for retirement, but the same is true for those getting out after putting in their 20. Just an older crowd.
 

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Yaah, when your group is looking for new hires, you may want to target some of the large U.S. Military teaching hospitals,eg. Bethesda/Walter Reed, SanDiego, etc. You will generally be looking at a population of American born and trained, board certified paths with 2-3 years post residency REAL experience. Many will also have a limited clinical background with an internship and a year or two of general practice. Most will tend to be jack- of-all-trade types who understand the concept of paying ones dues and teamwork. They will also lack the stink of desperation associated with tons of debt. In general, as a group, the best hires we made were ex military.(please note i am generalizing). Also, there is a refreshing lack of snobbery and arrogance among that cohort. I am, of course, referring to the ones who do not choose to stay for retirement, but the same is true for those getting out after putting in their 20. Just an older crowd.

If I were Yaah I would email the PD at surpath heavy programs like MGH, Johns Hopkins, WashU or a few others and say you are looking for a well-rounded individual looking for a partnership-track PP job. You will get a bite and 99% chance whoever you hear from will be at the top of your pile from internet searches. And it won't cost you a dime.
 

Unty

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If I were Yaah I would email the PD at surpath heavy programs like MGH, Johns Hopkins, WashU or a few others and say you are looking for a well-rounded individual looking for a partnership-track PP job. You will get a bite and 99% chance whoever you hear from will be at the top of your pile from internet searches. And it won't cost you a dime.

Yup that’s how the best jobs are advertised. Why would you want to put out an ad and get a bunch of cvs from desperate people looking for a job.

I came across a job ad from a local group the other day. Partnership track, good surgical volume. Guess what? No one will ever hear of this job.

That’s the state of the pathology job market. If you want a good candidate target good/best programs and ask around in your area who they would recommend.
 
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Yes you can. You can do whatever you want. I know people who have gone back, including people in their 50s, and retrained. They're usually very happy with their decision. Just because it's difficult and not always practical doesn't mean you can't do it. If a job makes you miserable and stressed out then stop doing the job. Find something else to do. It doesn't even have to be medicine.

Loans are a big problem that might be prohibitive for some. Loans are a ****ty part of medicine these days - they are constraining and confining and limiting. They trap some people in fields or jobs they wouldn't otherwise do. The loan problem is getting worse because tuition is ever increasing but there is tons of pressure on payments to docs. I talk to a fair number of students who are interested in medicine (not just pathology) as a career, my #1 piece of advice to them is to make sure you know what you are getting into with regards to both finances and personal life. Medicine while you are training, and often once you are finished training, can be all-consuming and wreak havoc on personal relationships and personal well being. And if you combine that with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, that's a big problem and a hard one to walk away from.

Again, anecdotes are not only important when they confirm your bias. A lot of you want to dismiss CAP data and such. OK, but without any data of your own the criticism doesn't mean as much. At least they have data. I have always wished the ABPath, for example (although I know it's not their mission) would do some kind of survey of boards takers about jobs and the job market. CAP could do this too. Anyone could. ASCP has done some surveys, but with limited methodology and results. I have no idea why it's so hard to survey. The expression "where there's smoke there's fire" should apply here - clearly there is lots of smoke, even if most of it seems to be on these forums.
I also wish there were more surveys. My impression of a good market is just based on my experience alone, and it clearly is much worse for many other people based on the comments here. I would like to see CAP and ABPath do some large scale surveys to get an idea of the scope of the issue. Also, I would be curious about loans for other people. Mine are outrageous and I will be paying them forever, but that is the sad state of medicine today.
 

Unty

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I also wish there were more surveys. My impression of a good market is just based on my experience alone, and it clearly is much worse for many other people based on the comments here. I would like to see CAP and ABPath do some large scale surveys to get an idea of the scope of the issue. Also, I would be curious about loans for other people. Mine are outrageous and I will be paying them forever, but that is the sad state of medicine today.
Agree. I was briefly looking at that paper about grads and geographic location for their job. They surveyed cap junior members. Funny I NEVER saw one survey in all of my fellowship training. I would’ve mentioned something.

I was and currently am no longer a cap member since I graduated residency.

Also there’s a conflict of interest in regards to CAP and depicting a good job market. I (independent) would like to create a survey and put the results on here. I would contact every program in the country via phone or email or social media and get contacts to every graduating resident and fellow and come up with my own data. This would be interesting.

I’d like to know where those graduating from major cities (which I consider saturated) get their jobs and how (word of mouth, etc).

The academic path job market is good imo. I think the private job market is ok. Some get multiple offers some only get one. But all you really need is one job. I think you have to be geographically flexible in this market moreso depending on where you live.
 
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