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April 9-11, 2021
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Editorial Team

Dr. David Parham, Editor-in-Chief
Interested in submitting an article? Email your draft to spp@kellencompany.com for consideration!

From the Editor's Desk

August 15, 2020

Well, it’s been three long months since the last Newsletter, and I am still sequestered away because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.  However, that is not completely bad for a Newsletter editor, and our new trainees are on my mind.   
 
First, I want to welcome all new pediatric pathology fellows and say good luck to all recent graduates.  You are embarking on a challenging and rewarding career that benefits both children and the unborn.  I continue to be amazed at the breadth and diversity of our specialty, particularly as I read about new discoveries and ways of looking at old diseases.  I hope your career will be as fulfilling as mine has been. 
 
Many of you may have read the recent series on Pathology Manpower that appeared in the April edition of Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  First, Dr. Tim Allen writes a generally upbeat editorial, with the title “Pathologists Will Prevail”.  He cites three challenges for success: practice creep, consolidation and centralization, and digitalization.  “Practice creep” refers to monetary pressure to hire lesser-trained personnel instead of physicians.  Consolidation and centralization concern the tendency to close smaller hospitals and merge others.  Digitalization means to the use of digital images for diagnosis, which can be outsourced.  His final answer to the question, “Will pathologists survive”, is “Absolutely!” is based on the strength of our national organizations [such as the SPP] and the central place pathology has in medicine.  
 
The next article, entitled “The State of the Job Market for Pathologists”, gives results of a survey sent to 2709 pathology leaders and practice managers.  This survey probed the number of pathology positions that were open, eliminated, or new in 2017, and how many of these positions were filled during that time.  A total of 346 responded, with about 33% in non-academic hospitals, 22% in academic hospitals, and the remainder comprising a variety of settings.  Of note, pediatric/perinatal pathology tied with forensic pathology by each having 9 open positions.  If my assumptions are correct about the nonresponders, I expect this means there will be plenty of positions open in the future, and the job market appears to be healthy. 
 
The next article, entitled “Will I Need to Move to Get My First Job”, analyzed the pattern of geographic relocation of pathologists taking their first position.  A total of 501 responders included 75 with subspecialty training.  Relocation did not indicate any significant trends, and the market appeared stable with no indication of geographic hardship. 

Finally, the last article in this series addressed gender parity in employment and other gender trends.  This comprised aggregate data from CAP GME Committee survey from 2015 to 2018.  Comparable results were found in all measured outcomes, including relocation, job satisfaction, salary, and extent to which expectations were met.  The results indicate that pathology is doing a good job in recruiting women, paying them, and meeting their expectations.  One interesting difference was that a smaller percentage of female respondents noted a mismatch between training and job requirements, compared to males, as a reason for difficulty in finding a position.  Also, men seemed to accept a position earlier than women, although this was not statistically significant. 
 
To sum up this series of articles, it appears that this is a good time for pathology trainees and new graduates, and I wish you luck as you begin your training or career!  Perhaps at a future date, the Practice Committee might wish to consider how germane some of these parameters are for pediatric pathology. 

About the Author

David Parham, MD

Newsletter Editor

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