Pathology as a career choice

Dr Ila Jain Khandelwal., MBBS, DNB(Pathology), MNAMS, FIP(USA) and a Marrow faculty, talks about what it is like to work in Pathology.

Heartiest congratulations to all the students who were able to crack the NEET exam. Since the time of the results, I have been getting a lot of queries regarding the pros and cons of Pathology as a branch, and the scope of this speciality. Here, I will explain what is Pathology and what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking up pathology as a speciality.

What is Pathology?
Pathology is a core branch in medicine. It deals with the understanding of how does disease occur and how bad would be the outcome from it. 

Is Pathology right for you?
Here is a checklist for you to keep in mind while thinking of pathology as a career option:

  • Would it be fine for you to sit back for hours under the microscope and find out the diagnosis? 
  • How important is patient interaction and examination to you? Being a Pathologist, the stethoscope is not your friend anymore, rather it’s the microscope. 
  • Would you like a well planned day at work with almost fixed hours or a more adventurous one with continuous patient interaction and even night calls?

Scope/ Options after doing MD/DNB Pathology

  1. Open your own diagnostic lab. You can also open a highly specialized lab like immunology, or oncology which is going to be in high demand in future due to the rise in cancer.
  2. Get associated in a medical college.
  3. Work in a pathology lab either part-time or full time
  4. You can also do a fellowship/ DM in oncopathology, cytology, molecular genetics etc.

So, if you are the kind who would not mind sitting for long hours under the microscope, working silently behind the main scenes in a hospital or if you would like a much more balanced life, go for PATHOLOGY. It has been aptly said: “Without laboratories, men of science are soldiers without arms.”

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