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I'm PGY1 Dal path. I had a very hard time choosing too, made my mind up to rank it #1 about half hour before the ROL deadline (couldn't decide on specialty let alone location/program)! No regrets. Its a great program. The residents here are super friendly and helpful, very team oriented. And there are lots of them which is nice, i worried with the small programs there would be less help/guidance from seniors which is so key. Staff - approachable and into teaching.

 

find it so strange people say such bad stuff about the R1 year, its actually fun most of the time. I have enjoyed my year immensely, i would almost rather do it again then go on to R2 year of AP and autopsies all the time (it just seems overwhelming right now, tons of new stuff that we get zero exposure to in med school). I'm GP though, we get 4 months on home service and i think AP only has 2 months of path (one month AP and one month peripheral blood, not sure if they have the option of an extra month as an elective like GP). But my off-service rotations like general surgery, MTU and peds were great.

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LOVE AP! I do hope i get a job one day thats 90% AP. I just meant that I feel like R1 rotating year is a honeymoon compared to starting off trying to learn AP. Seeing exceptionally smart residents ahead of me finding it tough, well its extremely intimidating. I know it will be well worth it in the end though.

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LOVE AP! I do hope i get a job one day thats 90% AP. I just meant that I feel like R1 rotating year is a honeymoon compared to starting off trying to learn AP. Seeing exceptionally smart residents ahead of me finding it tough, well its extremely intimidating. I know it will be well worth it in the end though.

 

Hi

Since you are going to finish off clinical rotations this july..can you please guide me on the hospital choices for the PGY1 rotation.

Which place is better for surg rotation, medicine rotation and other clinical rotations, QE2, or Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital

Thanks

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I've heard pathology isn't that competitive, but I've yet to meet a path staff or resident that doesn't have an MSc or PhD... I've only got a small sample size, but I am curious if this is something the programs really place a lot of emphasis on, or if it's more that the types of people go into path tend to be the type of people who would have done grad school?

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I've heard pathology isn't that competitive, but I've yet to meet a path staff or resident that doesn't have an MSc or PhD... I've only got a small sample size, but I am curious if this is something the programs really place a lot of emphasis on, or if it's more that the types of people go into path tend to be the type of people who would have done grad school?

 

It may be program dependent. Generally, it's not competitive to match to path, but some programs are more research dependent than others. They may place a greater emphasis on research experience. In my program, I'd say the majority of residents have a grad degree. Those who didn't have one when they started will sometimes do a MSc during residency. And Brooksbane: a good number of CMGs in my path program have PhDs.

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It may be program dependent. Generally, it's not competitive to match to path, but some programs are more research dependent than others. They may place a greater emphasis on research experience. In my program, I'd say the majority of residents have a grad degree. Those who didn't have one when they started will sometimes do a MSc during residency. And Brooksbane: a good number of CMGs in my path program have PhDs.

 

Interesting, thanks. And brooksbane (I don't know how to quote two posts), most of the ones I've met are CMGs.

 

I'm having a very very hard time deciding what I want to be when I grow up. A quick search of my past posts is definitely proof of that. I'm very interested in anesthesiology, and path is probably my second choice at the moment. My plan was to do most of my electives in anesthesiology, because it's more competitive (based on what I have heard from residents and read here), and maybe a single elective in each of path and family. I'm hoping that will be enough to make me competitive for path/family, even though it's going to be tough to sell myself during interviews since it'll probably be painfully obvious that I am backing up...

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let me put it this way. If you've done research in undergrad or grad school. You don't need even a elective to get an interview. In fact I know people who backed up with doing even a 1 week elective and got in.

If you do a path elective or are just checking it out and don't want to fall asleep at the microscope just do a medical examiner/autospy shadow/elective! It'll be the best 1:1 anatomy review you've ever got ton, I think everyone should do it! (they won't ask you to do anything your not comfortable with).

 

If you're in med school you must have seen a cadaver before anyhow...

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I'm very interested in anesthesiology, and path is probably my second choice at the moment. My plan was to do most of my electives in anesthesiology, because it's more competitive (based on what I have heard from residents and read here), and maybe a single elective in each of path and family. I'm hoping that will be enough to make me competitive for path/family, even though it's going to be tough to sell myself during interviews since it'll probably be painfully obvious that I am backing up...

 

Can you do the minimum amount of electives needed to be competitive in anesthesiology, whatever that is? Research is a good point - if you don't have clinical elective time, you could try to bolster your pathology application with research (like a small project - I didn't get the feeling that a graduate degree was any sort of expectation). A letter of reference from someone in laboratory medicine would be helpful as well.

 

To sell yourself, first you need to get to the interview stage. Even though pathology may not completely fill, programs will still be skeptical of anyone who appears to be backing up, so you will likely want to address this in your personal statement re: your sincere interest and why pathology is a good fit for you. Would be worthwhile to get the viewpoint of some of the path residents here.

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For most path programs, 1 elective or even several days of observership will be ok as long as you rank a few places. Research is appreciated but not necessary. Also, I don't want to offend anyone but I think that an elective in family is a waste of time (edit: unless you want family in a very competitive place or if you're very interested in the field, which is clearly not the case here since it's a 2nd backup. Spend your electives to build a strong anesthesiology app, it's competitive).

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I'm having a very very hard time deciding what I want to be when I grow up. A quick search of my past posts is definitely proof of that. I'm very interested in anesthesiology, and path is probably my second choice at the moment.

 

What level of training are you at?

 

I was also considering anesthesia, and did week-long observerships in both path and anesthesia after 1st and 2nd year. Gas is a great field, but a week of it was enough time to decide it wasn't for me. The advantage of doing these preclerkship observerships is that you may be able to 'rule-out' a specialty early and not 'waste' elective time on it.

 

If you're in clerkship, 1 path elective will certainly be enough time to match somewhere. Some of the more competitive programs may give you a hard time about it, though.

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What level of training are you at?

 

I was also considering anesthesia, and did week-long observerships in both path and anesthesia after 1st and 2nd year. Gas is a great field, but a week of it was enough time to decide it wasn't for me. The advantage of doing these preclerkship observerships is that you may be able to 'rule-out' a specialty early and not 'waste' elective time on it.

 

If you're in clerkship, 1 path elective will certainly be enough time to match somewhere. Some of the more competitive programs may give you a hard time about it, though.

 

I start clerkship in the fall. We get pre clerkship electives here and I've done a half year of anesthesiology (one half day a week), and a summer elective for a couple weeks.

 

I did basic science research under a pathologist in undergrad, and loved it. I also find that pathology (or, more accurately, pathophys and cellular/molecular mechanisms of disease) is what I enjoy reading about the most in my spare time. Lifestyle is also a big consideration for me...I basically want to be competitive for the most competitive thing I'm interested in (anesthesiology), but remain competitive for pathology and potentially family within a specific geographic area... Kind of sounds like wishful thinking

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I would argue that you choose rads over path, but if you want to see if path is your thing, go talk to your home path dept and see if you can come by for a few days informally. If you are interested to keep going, sign up for one formal elective. Otherwise, concentrate your efforts on anesthesia.

 

Path is as CO2 as CO2 gets, so don't worry too much about not having a ton of path electives if anesthesia is your first choice.

 

Thanks, that's pretty reassuring as far as path is concerned. I'm curious about your rads comment though... Wouldn't it be tough (near impossible), to squeeze in the electives to be competitive in both anesthesia and rads?

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It would, and you shouldn't do that. If you're going for something that's competitive, and both rads and anesthesia could be described as such, you gotta pick one.

 

Compared to path, rads is better, hands down. More relevance, more tech, more money, more flexibility, less dead people.

 

But if what you love is anesthesia, rads is a terrible backup plan. Path, however, is a great one (might be one of the best; its essentially an open door to a relatively light residency with 5-years of funding; same with radonc, which I would also rank above path)

 

Thanks a lot for the advice. I'll probably do a lot of anesthesia/Emerg electives, and then maybe a family/path at my home school (which is in my preferred geographic location).

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  • 7 years later...

Really curious about reviving this topic.

Any changes in pros and cons of pathology programs across the country over the past 10 yrs? In particular, I'm interested to hear what people think about AP/GP at McMaster, AP/NP at U of T, AP at Queens, AP at Western, AP at Ottawa, AP/GP at Alberta and AP/GP/NP at Calgary?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm also curious to hear more about AP/GP programs in general - and specifically comparing them to AP in terms of fellowship and job prospects.

Does anyone have any insight into fellowship competitiveness if you do AP/CP rather than AP? I understand that if you want to incorporate research/academia into your career -> AP is better, and if you want to work in community practice -> AP/GP is better for you. I feel attracted to both program types but I'm wondering am I closing a significant door to research if I match to AP/GP? And are residents who finish AP/GP any less competitive than AP-trained residents for obtaining fellowships? Or are AP/GP residents even more competitive in obtaining, for example, a hematopathology fellowship because of having heme path as a part of their training?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/7/2021 at 10:44 AM, medhop said:

I'm also curious to hear more about AP/GP programs in general - and specifically comparing them to AP in terms of fellowship and job prospects.

Does anyone have any insight into fellowship competitiveness if you do AP/CP rather than AP? I understand that if you want to incorporate research/academia into your career -> AP is better, and if you want to work in community practice -> AP/GP is better for you. I feel attracted to both program types but I'm wondering am I closing a significant door to research if I match to AP/GP? And are residents who finish AP/GP any less competitive than AP-trained residents for obtaining fellowships? Or are AP/GP residents even more competitive in obtaining, for example, a hematopathology fellowship because of having heme path as a part of their training?

Just to be clear, Canadian programs are either AP or GP, there's not an AP/CP combo like in the states. Occasionally you will have residents start out as AP and switch into GP or vice versa, but you will only be Royal College certified in AP or GP at the end of 5 years.

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