Methods to attract research-oriented and MD/PhD students into Pathology

The APC Research Committee continues to focus on developing the pipeline of students, and particularly academically oriented students, to pathology. We have developed a toolkit of potential opportunities for pathology departments to pursue in an effort to attract more medical students and MD/PhD students to pathology. We have acknowledged that each department, medical school, and university has a unique set of opportunities, thus, it was concluded that a single proscribed pathway would not be a viable recommendation. Listed below are some general programs that are recommended for consideration:

  • Create a longitudinal experience for MD/PhD students during their research years in pathology. It was recommended that this start as early as possible, preferably in the first year or two of graduate school. This would be akin to students having a half-day medicine or pediatrics clinic once per month. Instead, students could go to surgical pathology, molecular or some other sign-out or regular pathology activity each month.
  • Development of a pathology research lab that students would rotate through and conduct research projects. This could be mandatory (has been implemented in at least one medical school) or optional. This experience has been a great tool for engaging students, particularly with regard to academic pursuits.
  • Invite MD/PhD and other academically oriented medical students to come to pathology grand rounds, other pathology conferences, and to meet with grand rounds speakers, particularly external speakers as part of a group lunch, for example.
  • Expand our (pathology) presence on social media. As a first effort, we are looking to collect already available videos and other media to be shared and highlighted.
  • Develop relationships with graduate programs in computer sciences, engineering, and other related sciences (e.g., mathematics) to build a greater understanding of how these areas are being adopted and integrated into pathology.

Certainly, variations on all of these recommendations are expected and the APC Research Committee would appreciate feedback on efforts that were effective and, of course, additional suggestions. Contact the APC Research Committee via the APC Office.

For current opportunities in pathology for students, visit the listings at: www.apcprods.org/opportunities.