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Outside the Lab Profession, Training and education

Your Origin Stories – in Tweets

Earlier this year, we featured an editorial on the “magic of mystery” and how it could lead to an interest – and possible career – in science (1). We decided to follow up by asking what inspired you – our readers – to pursue pathology. And your responses came thick and fast! Here, with your permission, we’ve collected the stories you told on social media about your journey into pathology, and how you fell in love with the field.

David Larson (@dmlarsonpath1): Last rotation of med school. Had wanted to do IM, but realized during acting internship that it wasn’t for me. Friend suggested #pathology. Arranged for elective and loved it. Saw what #pathologists do day to day. Pathology class didn’t do that. Have been loving it ever since.

Sara Jiang (@Sara_Jiang): I am that friend! And I think many of us on #pathologytwitter are – both virtually and IRL!

Daniela Hermelin (@HermelinDaniela): My father was an ID doc with a mini-lab in his office, including a microscope, where I would be found perched. Inspired by his love for medicine and humanity. Fell in love, with pathology that is, in medical school: mechanism of disease, pictures, best teachers: received Path Award.

My love solidified after my first general pathology elective, and second, and third and then fourth… Graduated medical school and then received a PhD in diapers, breast feeding and sleep deprivation. Began my pathology residency with five kids and pregnant (again).

Pathology residency about to be completed in four days and ecstatic to be starting transfusion medicine fellowship at #SLUPath #grateful

Maria Martinez-Lage (@mlage): As a third year Neurology resident, I sought a #Neuropath rotation and was extremely lucky to spend two months @MGHPathology. I went back to Spain, decided to become a neuropathologist. 13 years later, the people who inspired me are my colleagues and I made great friends @PennPathLabMed

Laura G. Pastrián (@DraEosina): My moment was @fetalpath explaining that pathologists were the ones that liked first years of medicine and disliked the last ones. I felt so like that.

David Gisselsson (@canceriswar): A summer elective at @BrighamWomens Path under Chris Fletcher completely transformed my view. It planted a seed that hybridized with genetics to blossom into #pediatric #pathology. I have never looked back. Never a boring day.

Karra Jones (@BrainIsThePath): I went into @KUMedCenter knowing I wanted to be a neurologist. One PhD later during my third year back in med school, I realized the thing I loved was my time spent under the microscope in my research years. Then a neuropathologist – Kathy Newell – inspired me to pursue neuropath.

Jena Martin (@DrsDrMartin): During the second year of medical school when a retired pathologist explained Potters syndrome. Seemed so intensely interesting!

Miguel Reyes-Mugica (@mreyesm): I wanted to become an internal medicine physician. I started as an instructor of #histology on my second year and then met my mentor #RuyPérezTamayo for my class of Pathology. Started doing research under him. That was enough. Experimental pathology and the beauty of histology!

Adriana Zucchiatti (@zucchiatti_): I always wanted to be a pediatrician, basically because I love kids. Then I worked one year in a peds little hospital and I figure out practicing peds wasn’t the most exciting for me. I just started to read a lot about pathology and how it works and made the decision.

Now, I’m really, really happy with what I do, even in residency program. The moral is that sometimes you have to take the chance and take risks, and it is possible everything turns out great. :)

Irma Ramos (@iramos89): When attending a pathology practice on the third year of Medicine everyone commented how boring that seemed to them and I was like “Uoouu, have you seen that? *.*”

Christine Salibay (@cjsalibay): Path profs suggested an elective. OB/family were always on my mind but by the end of third year, when I finished path elective, I was Path vs Peds – ultimately decided on a specialty that reminded me of how I like to think  and why I loved medicine in the first place –

– the basics: mechanism of disease and diagnosis. Plus, the lab people were amazing and reminded me of my awesome undergraduate research group :)

Mary Kinloch (@saskmary): In despair on colorectal surgery rotation. Surgery seemed boring: you spend so much time to get it out & NOT GONNA LOOK INSIDE?! Then, walked into GI tumour boards where a well-dressed feller with a microscope was telling the surgeons what to do. I was like, I wanna be that guy.

Ashley Flaman (@ashleyflamanmd): First year med student at a lunch hour career presentation about pathology. Pathology resident presents a case – 50s M single lung nodule removed for suspected cancer. Resident puts up histo image & says, “it’s not a tumor, it’s a granuloma!” Me: I wanna be her. That resident: @saskmary

Alicia Pomata (@AliPomata): First year med school, wanted to stay in the white, clean and cold lab forever looking to every single cell in the microscope.

Ashley Stueck (@LiverPath): I was seven when The X-Files premiered, and Scully was a forensic pathologist. The path was set! Of course, this was followed by learning more, shadowing, working in a path research lab, and electives. Forensics (still love!) changed to liver, but I always wanted to be a pathologist!

Mary Landau (@MPathyart): Standing in a gyn onc ward during my intern year in Ob/Gyn. I had just completed my gyn path rotation (and adored it), but even more pertinent, I had just completed 36 straight hours on call and only faced 12 hours off before my next 36-hour penance.

Valerio Ortenzi (@ortens84): I guess when I was a little boy: my parents gave me toys to play, instead I used to disassemble them to understand what was going on inside…

Akinshipo Wariz (@AkinshipoWariz): I knew I would be an oral pathologist when the only textbook I bought in Dental school was Neville and Damm Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

Lara Pijuan (@lara_pijuan): At second year of medical school when I had my first contact with #histology. I loved histological images and then at third year when I had my pathology classes I realized it was done for me… 

or I was done for Pathology, I heart #Pathology

MaríaElena PérezMartín (@ElenPath): At second year of MD School, I had my first contact with #histology and I  images (as Lara). And at third year, I had my path classes and I realized pathology was amazing. We dived deep into the real diagnostics of the disease. At fourth year, I met Dr. Burnier, Eye Path and I fell in love with #Pathology

Kalyani Bambal (@kriyer68): Loved histology in first year med school and then reinforced by pathology in second year. Was a foregone conclusion in itself. Went for MD Path in spite of offers for medicine and ped to the sheer consternation of my profs that time

Valerie Fitzhugh (DrFNA): I didn’t match orthopaedics. Pathology was the only other specialty I rotated through in medical school that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life. 14 years later and I haven’t looked back. #MyCalling #NoRegrets #Pathology #BSTPath #Cytopath

Tweets have been edited for readability only.

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  1. M Schubert, “The magic of mystery”, The Pathologist, 40, 7 (2018). Available at:
About the Author
William Aryitey

My fascination with science, gaming, and writing led to my studying biology at university, while simultaneously working as an online games journalist. After university, I travelled across Europe, working on a novel and developing a game, before finding my way to Texere. As Associate Editor, I’m evolving my loves of science and writing, while continuing to pursue my passion for gaming and creative writing in a personal capacity.

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