Will I Need to Move to Get My First Job?: Geographic Relocation and Other Trends in the Pathology Job Market

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2020 Apr;144(4):427-434. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2019-0150-CP. Epub 2019 Oct 9.


Context.—: There is an ongoing perception that the pathology job market is poor, which may be discouraging medical students from pursuing the specialty. Academic pathologists believe that jobs are available but relocation may be necessary.

Objective.—: To identify trends regarding the geographic relocation of pathologists taking their first job after training.

Design.—: The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Graduate Medical Education Committee has sent an annual job search survey from 2012-2016 to CAP junior members and fellows in practice for 3 years or less and seeking their first job. Data were analyzed across demographics and geographic domains consisting of the following: stayed at same institution/city, relocated within the same region, or relocated to a different region. Standard statistical methods were used.

Results.—: Of 501 respondents, 421 reported completing combined anatomic pathology (AP)/clinical pathology (CP) training, while 80 reported AP- or CP-only training. Of the 421 AP/CP respondents, 109 (26%) stayed at the same institution or city, while of the 80 AP- or CP-only respondents, 36 (45%) stayed at the same institution or city. One hundred ninety-nine respondents completed surgical pathology fellowships with 124 (62%) general/oncologic surgical pathology and 75 (38%) subspecialty surgical pathology trainees. Job seekers who completed general surgical pathology/surgical oncologic pathology fellowship accounted for 34 of 52 (65%) of those remaining at the same institution or city, while those with subspecialty training accounted for 40 of 77 (52%) of those relocating to a different region. Relocation did not demonstrate any significant trends in regard to other demographics studied.

Conclusions.—: The pathology job market appears stable with no precedent for geographic hardship.

MeSH terms

  • Career Mobility
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Pathologists / supply & distribution*
  • Pathology, Clinical / trends*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires