Alumni Specialties: Pathology
Morgan Long, DO (PGY-1)
- Pathology; Tucson, AZ (University of Arizona)
- firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 520-360-4361
- This goes for all med students regardless of year: Pathology residency programs just want to make sure you truly want to do pathology and not that you are trying to match in to something “easy.” If they see anything pathology related on your ERAS, they will love it, and they’ll ask you about it! Try and shadow any type of pathologist as early as possible or try to get a 3rd-year elective in pathology. I set up a pathology rotation in Tucson at Northwest Hospital while at BCOM, so that could be a start for you. Reach out to the pathology staff at BCOM and see if they have any ideas of someone you can shadow or path-related projects you can work on. We are not exposed to pathology in medical school nearly as much as every other specialty, so it is definitely on you to find the time and energy to show residency programs that you have some experience (as little as it may be) and that you’re interested. I would also recommend doing away rotations in pathology 4th year. It’s 100% not required; you don’t need to do a single away rotation in order to match into pathology… but you do need 3 letters of rec from pathologists in order to apply to a pathology residency, so getting early pathology rotations will help with that. It will also be helpful for when you start residency. Because we get no exposure in medical school, away rotations will help you get the bare-bones knowledge of what goes on in path, instead of it being an absolute surprise when you start. It will help with interviews if you have some experience in away rotations, it will help you to get letters of rec, it will help with your foundational knowledge, AND it will allow you to show those programs that you would make a good resident (if you want to attend that program). If you do an away rotation in pathology at a program you’re interested in and you are genuinely interested when you’re there, if you’re helpful to residents if you’re nice, and if you’re easy to be around, then they are more than likely to rank you in their top 5. Although not at all required, if you have some idea of what kind of pathology you like (or even top 3 subspecialties), that will also be helpful during interviews. Pathology is not hard to match into; the majority of spots filled are from IMGs, and that number is only increasing (so if you’re a US med school grad, your chances are very, very high of matching where you want). If you pass your boards the first time (and even if you don’t), you can match into pathology if you just show interest. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns!
Mason Marshall, DO (PGY-1 AP/CP Resident)
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Department of Pathology- Pittsburgh, PA
- As pathology sits at the bridge between basic science and clinical medicine, I would advise prospective applicants to try to get involved in research. It does not need to be extensive, nor even pathology related. I had only one small case report that I wrote during medical school. I believe this shows programs you are familiar with the scientific method and capable of taking on projects during residency. My second recommendation is to do at least one pathology rotation during clinical rotations. This serves two key purposes. Chiefly, it shows program directors that you are interested in pathology and demonstrate your commitment to the field. Secondly, it can allow you to obtain letters of recommendation from pathologist. You can also submit 3 letters of recommendation to residency programs. I would advise trying to have at least one from a pathologist. Two letters would be better.