Career Services


CNUCOM Career Advising for Medical Specialties: Pathology

Specialty Advisor:


Preferred Contact Information:

Student Interest Group webpage:






National Organizations:

American Society for Clinical Pathology
College of American Pathologist,
United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology,

Minimal Training Durations:

4 years of residency

Subspecialty Fellowships: 1-2 Year


Competitiveness: low

Median Salary:

Academic Salary:


Clinical Salary:





Specialty Overview: Pathology is the specialty dealing with the causes and nature of disease. Along with radiology, it has been described as a "diagnostic" specialty. Pathologists combine clinical training with laboratory expertise to contribute to medical care. While pathology was historically considered a research-oriented specialty, pathology careers today can range from pure clinical work to pure basic investigation.


Although the field encompasses both anatomic and clinical pathology, many pathologists tend to focus on one of these areas: Anatomic pathologists investigate the effect of disease on the human body via microscopic examination of tissue, cells and other specimens, as well as via autopsies; Clinical pathologists work in laboratories supervising testing procedures, and their work is a blend of microbiology, hematology, chemistry, immunology, molecular biology and business management. Pathology is generally a hospital-based specialty.


·         Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine       1 year

·         Chemical Pathology        1 year

·         Cytopathology   1 year

·         Forensic Pathology         1 year

·         Hematology (Pathology) 1 year

·         Immunopathology          1-2 years

·         Medical Microbiology     1 year

·         Neuropathology 2 years

·         Pediatric Pathology        1 years




Recommended Electives Outside this specialty:

Once you have done a pathology elective. Learn the medicine - it will help in the path.




Training Requirements: Combined training in anatomic and clinical pathology (AP/CP) is a four-year categorical program with no requirement for a preliminary year. The majority of pathology residents (approximately 80%) choose a combined AP/CP program. Three-year AP-only and CP-only training is also available in some institutions. There were 142 pathology-anatomic and clinical residency training programs accredited by the ACGME for 2014-15 that offered 605 categorical positions.


For applicants who expect to pursue a career focused on basic investigation, the American Board of Pathology (ABP) recognizes a physician-scientist research pathway to certification. These programs vary between institutions, but generally combine a two-year accelerated AP or CP residency with a guaranteed fellowship and postdoctoral position.

The ABP also recognizes a four-year combined AP/neuropathology pathway.

For subspecialty fellowships, applicants must have completed a residency in pathology. The fellowships are over 1-2 years in length


Results and Data of 2016 Main Residency Match

Mean USMLE Step 1 Score: 232

Mean USMLE Step 2 CK Score: 245

Mean # of Programs Applied to in this specialty: 23.5

Number of Programs: 156

Number of Positions Available: 579

Total Number of Applicants: 890

Total Number of Matched: 549




Critical References:



California Northstate University College of Medicine ♦ 9700 West Taron Drive ♦ Elk Grove, CA 95757 ♦ Phone: (916) 686-7300