I have been a Pathologist for almost 17 years now. When I entered the pathology department as a junior resident in 2004, the branch was fascinating and enigma to me.However, I didn’t think highly about the branch then. For me Yet, it was a leftover. I couldn’t get what others at lower rank could get because I did not have quota. I was not happy being in the paramedical branch. The branch was tough, and you couldn’t just get away knowing the pathology. One needed to know medicine, surgery and Anatomy as well. As the years in my residency progressed, I got better. I started liking hematology, immunohematology, histopathology. Finally, I did manage to develop a love for histopathology and developed a deep respect for all other sub-branches as well.
However over the years, I have always been reminded of the subordinate or supporting role of my branch not just by colleagues/ managements or friends and family but by almost everyone around. Yet, the more number of years, I have spent in the branch, the more I know how indispensable the branch is. Unless, a Pathologist signs the dotted line, the clinicians are never sure of the diagnosis.
A tumor is just another tumor till a histopathologist categorises it. A simple upper respiratory infection could be anything from a viral to bacterial to an autoimmune process. It’s only after the battery of tests that the correct cause can be ascertained. However, a Pathologist or a microbiologist never gets his due. It is one of the most underpaid branches. Unlike the clinical counterpart, the corporates never hire more than a bare minimum, and hence unlike clinicians we are never off.
International pathology day is an annual awareness day to highlight the role of pathology community in healthcare community. This year, I too decided to do my part in increasing the awareness by organising an event in the hospital where I work. The footfall for the event was not high. Yet, with the help of our marketing team we did manage to create a little buzz.