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Acad Pathol. 2018 Mar 28;5:2374289518765457. doi: 10.1177/2374289518765457. eCollection 2018 Jan-Dec.

Trends in Pathology Graduate Medical Education Programs and Positions, 2001 to 2017.

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Division of Clinical Anatomy, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.


The US medical workforce is facing an impending physician shortage. This shortage holds special concern for pathologists, as many senior practitioners are set to retire in the coming years. Indeed, studies indicate a "pathologist gap" may grow through 2030. As such, it is important to understand current and future trends in US pathology. One key factor is graduate medical education. In this study, we analyzed data from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, to determine the change in pathology graduate medical education programs and positions, from 2001 to 2017. We found that pathology programs and positions have increased since the 2001 to 2002 academic year, even after adjusting for population growth. However, this increase is much lower than that of total graduate medical education. Furthermore, many pathology subspecialties have declined in population-adjusted levels. Other subspecialties, such as selective pathology, have grown disproportionately. Our findings may be valuable for understanding the state of US pathology, now and in the future. They imply that more resources-or technological innovations-may be needed for specific pathology programs, in hopes of closing the pathologist gap for both this specialty and its subspecialties.


fellowship; graduate medical education; pathology; physician trends; residency

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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