I am not a big contributor to this BBS, even I have benefited a lot from reading all good posts here. But today I think I have to say something about my first OB in pathology in OSU with Dr. He, (Dokknife).
He just joined OSU Medical Center for less a year, obviously he is new faculty here. If it is me, I would not accept observer so fast. But actually, before me, he already has two observers. "I just want all our old CMG folks get a spot, and I will do whatever I can." He said. How enthusiastic and kind! "You can not find another Chinese guy like him in USA." Another Chinese faculty at this department said. I tried my best to do OB because this is my best appreciation for his help.
All pathologist and PAs here at OSU pathology department are nice and happy to teach, they have a good team spirit which I appreciate a lot. I tried to talk and smile to everyone on the floor and go to as many conferences as I can. The most challenge thing for me is that how to ask a valuable question during OB, but later I figured out that even a very basic question, do not even hesitate to ask, you are here to learn and you do not know too much about pathology before.
Secondly, my goal through OB is to try to know how the system runs in pathology and how the pathologists talk, not just to master how to make a diagnosis of certain diseases. So even I read a lot of reference books, watched a lot of frozen and gross sections, and went more than 5 autopsies, my nerve always urges me to talk to everyone I could reach, PAs, residents, attendings, professors, and in deed, every talk turned out to be very encouraging.
What I got from OB? Determination and confidence! Now I know I really want an academic career in pathology and I know what I should say and what I would avoid to be trapped during interview. Another observer has put a very good post, I am not going to repeat. I am really glad I came to OB and deeply thank Dr. He for his offer.
How do I think Pathology now? Critical, challenging, exciting, and full of research opportunity!
1. I do not really know much about pathology before OB, somebody says that Pathologists are not real doctor because they do not have direct contact with patients. However through OB, I see the opposite: Pathologist and their works are so critical for oncologists and surgeons, they are \"guiding surgeon\'s hands\" and they are really \"doctor\'s doctors.\" Without pathologist, oncologist and surgeons can not make a correct clinic diagnosis, can not evaluate the treatment and do not know how to cut the tumor at all!
2. Pathology is so challenging. You need own a vast sea of knowledge from disease presentations and clinical features to morphology under the microscope which is the heart of pathology, to the levels of molecular and genetic changes which are the key advances of pathology at the modern era. Many times, pathologists have hard time to make a diagnosis, not because they are incompetent, the tumor biology is so complex and our knowledge about it is still limited. However, pathologists are so humble here. You often see them holding some slides to ask around, they do not care about loosing face, they just be responsible to patients and the clinical doctors.
3. Pathology is exciting. One or two decades ago, pathologists mainly relied only on morphology and histology to make a diagnosis. Now many new technologies have gone from bench-top to bedside, such as IHC, flow cytometry, and molecular genetics etc. Many more antibodies, probes, materials and techniques are developing. These advanced technologies make diagnosis more accurate and disease prognosis more predictable.
4. There are full of research opportunities. Others including good income, and lifestyle etc.
Something might be helpful:
1. Lodging, this could be very challenging because we tend to stay such a short time. Two ways I have used to find housing: First: From Chinese student and scholar society website: http://bbs.csssosu.org/, if you are lucky, you may find a room in University Village with a chinese roommate, about 3 mile from Medical Center, at price 250 + utility, relatively cheap and safe, you can ask about shuttle service, which is free and convenient but need apply pass, ask the roommate how get it. Secondly, you can use website: http://www.craigslist.com, put an ad and wait for calls or emails. Cons are expensive (+ 600 $), far from Medical center, not sure about area and roommates, so there is safety concern.
2. Parking: if you drive, you better buy the parking permit at your first day, for surface parking is $30/month, you can buy at 160 Bevis Hall, 1080 Carmack Road Columbus, OH 43210. Call @ (614) 292-9341.
3. A minor point, as an observer, do NOT touch anything, even offer a help you thought is so simple to do. All you can do is watching and talking.