How does it feel to be a pathology resident? Results of a survey on experiences and job satisfaction during pathology residency.


Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology, vol.471, no.3, pp.413-422, 2017 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 471 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00428-017-2167-2
  • Title of Journal : Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology
  • Page Numbers: pp.413-422
  • Keywords: Pathology training, Residency, Job satisfaction, Postgraduate education, MEDICAL-STUDENTS, PERCEPTIONS, CLINICIAN, ATTITUDES


Residents' career choices and professional motivation can be affected from perception of their role and recognition within a medical team as well as their educational and workplace experiences. To evaluate pathology trainees' perceptions of their pathology residency, we conducted a 42-item survey via a web-based link questioning respondents' personal and institutional background, workplace, training conditions, and job satisfaction level. For the 208 residents from different European countries who responded, personal expectations in terms of quality of life (53%) and scientific excitement (52%) were the most common reasons why they chose and enjoy pathology. Sixty-six percent were satisfied about their relationship with other people working in their department, although excessive time spent on gross examination appeared less satisfactory. A set residency training program (core curriculum), a set annual scientific curriculum, and a residency program director existed in the program of 58, 60, and 69% respondents, respectively. Most respondents (76%) considered that pathologists have a direct and high impact on patient management, but only 32% agreed that pathologists cooperate with clinicians/surgeons adequately. Most (95%) found that patients barely know what pathologists do. Only 22% considered pathology and pathologists to be adequately positioned in their country's health care system. Almost 84% were happy to have chosen pathology, describing it as "puzzle solving," "a different fascinating world," and "challenging while being crucial for patient management." More than two thirds (72%) considered pathology and pathologists to face a bright future. However, a noticeable number of respondents commented on the need for better physical working conditions, a better organized training program, more interaction with experienced pathologists, and deeper knowledge on molecular pathology.