Sunday, February 19, 2006

USCAP 2006 pathology Job

by Yaah at SDN

I just got back from USCAP 2006 in Atlanta (not that I would really have noticed if it was in Atlanta other than that is what the airport and the local tv stations said it was since we barely left the two block area around the hotel). It was interesting and I am glad I went (was there sunday-this AM).


1) Went to the house staff seminar on sunday night. It was a panel of private and academic pathologists and a recently graduating resident. The consensus: Employers are looking for people who have some extra training (like a cyto or hemepath fellowship) but not TOO MUCH extra training. More than two fellowships is actually frowned upon and employers start to wonder what your problem is. As usual, doing a dermpath fellowship is the most desirable currently but almost any fellowship will give you a leg up (except for microbio, chem). Private jobs are starting out in many places well over $200k, academics $120-140k. But the real numbers are not actually available and a lot of it depends on variables like whether they pay your malpractice, benefits, etc. In short: There are enough jobs out there and opportunities are apparently increasing.

The importance of the surgical pathology fellowship was emphasized, as the impression is growing among employers that residents are not as well trained in basic competencies as they were in the past and now require more hand holding at the start.

You can see the handouts for free online at - look at the "evening specialty conference handouts" under house staff.
1.What Employers Are Looking For - Fred G. Silva - Executive Director, USCAP, Augusta, GA
2.What Employees Are Looking For - Carol Farver - Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

They also specifically addressed the "path mill" type jobs and said the current prevelance of these jobs is still under 5% of the total jobs around the country, and the CAP and other organizations are actually actively lobbying to decrease these jobs and encourage people not to take them. Dr Silva and others said that it is unlikely these jobs will become commonplace.

The main factors important to employers which are often overlooked are "Interpersonal skills" and "Communication skills" as well as the ability to work with others. If you do well in residency and get good references from your attendings, this will have a large impact on your job search success.

2) Lots of good specialty conferences. I attended the long course yesterday on liver/pancreas and thought it was pretty good. Also attended a lot of poster presentations, platforms, and specialty conferences at night. The highlights I think were seeing Rosai present a case presentation (he looks old but moves fast- he blew by me at the poster presentations and obviously can still move quickly ) and the GI conference on tuesday night. It included 5 case presentations, two of which will be long remembered - John Hart from U of Chicago presenting a case of Behcet's disease and being very liberal with his use of the term "scrotal ulcer" and Appelman presenting a case of solitary rectal ulcer syndrome in a weightlifter which was the highest of high comedy.

3) I got to present a poster and it was a great experience - got to talk to lots of great GU pathologists and others from around the country. They also had a session every morning from 7-8am where they had food for housestaff and the opportunity to meet well known pathologists and chat, which people did not take advantage of. Another local resident and I went M-W and were nearly the only ones there. We also got taken out for dinner last night by three attendings from our instutitions which was neat. Then they bought us drinks at the bar.

USCAP is busy - there are events from 8am-9:30pm every day and multiple events at each time. Never a shortage of things to do.

4) There were about 10,000 posters about EGFR and P16.
One interesting thing at USCAP was also to notice which programs have lots of posters and platforms (especially with residents presenting). We had quite a few and I think we in top ten, according to attendings, but there was no actual list. But in going through the posters every day it was pretty clear that there were a couple of programs that were just swimming in abstracts. Cleveland Clinic, for one (Goldblum's name was on about half of them!). JHU was well represented. The most surprising was Wayne State. It was insane. Seemed like in some sections every other poster was cleveland clinic or wayne state.
I just got back from the USCAP conference last night. It was a great week and I hope I get to go next year! It was amazing to see all of the posters residents presented and to listen to the platform presentations. Some programs really crank out the research. My program was also suppose to be in the "top 10" of abstracts accepted, but I have no idea where we really ranked.

Yaah was right when he said that there were a lot of good specialty conferences. I went to the long course on Wednesday and to some short courses on Thursday and Friday. The one on the non-neoplastic bowel was great!

It was a very busy conference with something going on all the time. I was lucky that my program will pay for the whole week if you present a poster. Now I just have to wait to be reimbursed. It was expensive conference to go to on a resident's salary.

Maybe next year some of the SDNers can get together!


Anonymous Jen said...

I got the 1000th visit to your blog!!!

10:28 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home