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Outside the Lab Profession, Digital and computational pathology, Microscopy and imaging, Technology and innovation

Lessons Learned, with Richard Levenson

At a Glance

  • Pathology is an excellent career choice for those who want to focus on research as well as clinical work
  • Novel techniques that solve many of pathology’s logistical problems may be the way forward for clinical microscopy
  • The field’s transition to digital is promising, but has yet to overcome significant challenges
  • When digital pathology allows its practitioners to be free of the slide, rather than simply adding steps to its processing, its popularity may spread

Pathology has possibilities

I was doing reasonably well as a medical student University of Michigan and, at the time, the expectation was that the top-performing students automatically went into internal medicine. That was considered the “prestige track,” but I wasn’t very inspired by it. A friend of mine asked, “Have you considered pathology?” I hadn’t given it a moment’s thought. My friend said, “Pathology is great. You don’t have to pick a particular specialty; you can do whatever you want. It’s a research-oriented profession, so you can have a full-time lab and spend 20 percent of your time performing your service duties on the autopsy service.” That seemed like a good idea to me, so I switched my path to pathology, and it has served me well ever since.

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About the Author

Richard Levenson

Professor and Vice Chair for Strategic Technologies in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California Davis Health, Sacramento, USA.

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