2013 Fellowship and Job Market Survey Reveals Hiring Outlook, Training Gaps
Monday, July 8, 2013
Medical schools need to provide more hands-on experience for students to decide if they want to pursue pathology training, according to the results of the 2013 ASCP Fellowship and Job Market Surveys. This report also dovetails with other data indicating that medical schools need to provide students who are not going into pathology with opportunities to interact with pathologists and learn how to read pathology reports in preparation for medical practice.
“These ASCP surveys reinforce concerns that pathology and laboratory medicine education in medical school is lacking, not only for students who are pursuing pathology as a specialty, but for other future practitioners who then lack the understanding of how integral pathology is to the practice of medicine.”
—Henry Rinder, MD, FASCP
Chair, ASCP Resident In-Service Examination (RISE) Committee
“These ASCP surveys reinforce concerns that pathology and laboratory medicine education in medical school is lacking, not only for students who are pursuing pathology as a specialty, but for other future practitioners who then lack the understanding of how integral pathology is to the practice of medicine,” says Henry Rinder, MD, FASCP, Chair of the ASCP Resident In-Service Examination (RISE) Committee and co-author of the surveys.
The surveys, administered to residents and fellows, provide comprehensive data that is closely reviewed by pathology residents/fellows and residency and fellowship program directors. Dr. Rinder will report on the results of the 2013 Resident In-Service Exam (RISE) and ASCP Fellowship and Job Market Surveys at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Pathology Chairs and PRODS, July 9–12, in Boston.
Half of pathology residents said they would like more time during training to preview cases before sign out. One-sixth of residents said they didn’t get enough graduated responsibility during training, and more than 80 percent of residents said they never signed out frozen sections on their own.
“We always have someone looking over our shoulders. When you go out into the real world, initial sign-outs can be stressful,” says Evelyn Bruner, MD, a surgical pathology fellow who completed her residency in June, and Chair of the ASCP Resident Council. “The survey shows that most newly hired pathologists would feel more comfortable if they had back-up support in their initial sign-outs.”
The survey also addressed whether debt is a factor in determining if pathologists will enter private practice or academia. Most respondents said it did not. However, the majority of graduating residents said they do not feel well prepared for managing the business side of their pathology practice.
Among the five fellowship specialties for whom the ASCP administers an in-service examination, there was a wide range of receipt of job offers prior to the exam in the spring. Only 6 percent of forensic fellows said that they had not yet received a job offer at that time compared to much higher percentages among hematopathology and neuropathology fellows. As this survey was performed with two months remaining in the academic year, some fellows may have received job offers in the meantime, according to Dr. Rinder.
“Still, there is somewhat of a disconnect,” Dr. Rinder says. “We hear from several sources that the workforce is going to (eventually) need more pathologists. Yet, right now based on this survey, we see that some of our fellows are having a difficult time finding a job. What we need, and what residents are asking for, is hard data on what jobs are currently available.”