ASCP Reveals Gaps in Pathology Residency Training

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2015 Fellowship & Job Market Survey Informs Enhanced Resources for Pathologists

The ASCP Fellowship & Job Market Surveys provide valuable information on national trends regarding medical education, residency training, and the job market, which is closely reviewed by pathology residents and fellows.

About 40 percent of fourth-year pathology residents do not feel prepared to practice the “business side” of pathology, according to findings of the 2015 ASCP Fellowship & Job Market Surveys released today at the Association of Pathology Chairs Annual Meeting in San Diego.

“The ASCP Fellowship & Job Market Surveys provide valuable information on national trends regarding medical education, residency training, and the job market, which is closely reviewed by pathology residents and fellows,” says Karen Frank, MD, PhD, FASCP, Chair of the ASCP Resident In-Service Examination (RISE) Committee. “Residency and fellowship program directors use these comprehensive data to make improvements in their educational programs where needed. This report also helps ASCP identify opportunities to provide new resources to fill specific knowledge gaps.”

ASCP, which administered the surveys as part of the 2015 Spring RISE and fellowship in-service exams, has used these data to develop new resources, such as Lab Management University (LMU), which was created in 2013 to fill the educational gap identified in pathology business and management training. A joint initiative of ASCP and the American Pathology Foundation, LMU enhances management training and resources available to residents and to the new-in-practice pathologists and laboratory professionals.

The surveys also examined trainees’ attitudes toward pathology fellowships and the number of fellowships to which they planned to apply, medical school preparation for residency programs, and preparation for independent work. The vast majority of residents said they planned to pursue fellowship training, and 44 percent chose two or more fellowships to meet career goals and compete in the job market. Respondents identified their top five fellowship choices as surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematopathology, gastrointestinal/hepatic pathology, and dermatopathology.

As in previous surveys, confidence in signing out cases is still a concern among many residents. Sixty-six percent of fourth-year residents said they feel ready to sign out cases upon graduation,

knowing colleagues are available for back-up. Yet more than a third of residents indicated they are not ready or need a transition period upon graduating; this transition period is provided during fellowship training. The report cited a lack of graduated responsibility during training as a potential contributing factor to the lack of confidence in independent sign out.

The job market survey provides upcoming fellows with information from their peers regarding interviews, job offers, salaries, and anticipated job responsibilities for their future first job following fellowship training.

To read the complete ASCP 2015 Fellowship & Job Market Surveys Report, click here or visit http://www.ascp.org/Residents/Resident-Resources#tabs-1.

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Pam Flores
American Society for Clinical Pathology
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