Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 118-128

Whether M.D. Pathology curriculum is sufficient to meet pathology practice requirements in India? A survey of newly qualified pathologists

1 Department of Pathology, MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pathology, Rajshree Medical Research Institute, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sachin Kale
Department of Pathology, MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpm.ijpm_237_22

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Background and Objectives: Pathology is a broad subject consisting of various branches, such as hematology, clinical pathology, biochemistry, histopathology, cytology, blood banking, and others. All the subspecialties are difficult to cover in depth in a 3-year MD Pathology course and curriculum. Hence, it was decided to investigate whether the MD Pathology curriculum is able to meet the challenges of today's laboratory medicine practice. So, a survey was conducted among newly qualified pathologists who have passed their exam within last 5 years. Purpose was to know their views about MD Pathology curriculum with special emphasis on challenges they face during their day-to-day practice. Materials and Methods: Study is designed as cross-sectional survey conducted via web-based Google forms questionnaire. Study population is pathologists qualified within last 5 years. A convenience sample of eligible pathologists was taken by sending a web-based Google form to various pathology groups on social media apps. Data were collected in the Google spreadsheet software and various responses were summarized as percentages, graphs, and pie-charts as necessary. Chi square test was used to find the significance of difference in responses from government, private, and deemed university respondents. Results: Different numbers of responses were received to different survey questions. Out of 187 respondents, 65 (34.8%) worked in a hospital-based laboratory, 61 (32.6%) did jobs in a private laboratory, 49 (26.2%) worked in a medical college, and 37 (19.8%) worked in their own private laboratories. Out of 193 respondents, 158 (81.9%) were working in hematology, 149 (77.2%) in clinical pathology, 139 (72%) in cytopathology, 118 (61.7%) in histopathology, whereas 103 (53.4%) worked in clinical biochemistry, and least number of respondents, i.e., 38 (19.7%) were working in blood bank. Almost all the respondents had overlapping work in hematology and other areas. The level of confidence rated by the respondents was best in hematology, followed by clinical pathology; it was least for clinical biochemistry and blood bank. Out of 192 respondents, 64.1% (123) felt that the curriculum does not equip them for lab management and administration, 21.9% (42) felt that the curriculum somewhat equipped them; whereas only 14.1% (27) felt that curriculum equips them for this task. There were 191 responses to the question regarding satisfaction with MD Pathology curriculum; out of which, 51.8% (99) were not satisfied, 24.6% (47) said they may be satisfied, whereas 23.6% (45) were satisfied with the curriculum. There was no significant difference in responses from government, private, and deemed university respondents. Conclusions: The graduating MD Pathology students expressed confidence in reporting routine cases of hematology, clinical pathology, routine cytology, and histopathology. However, there is difficulty in clinical biochemistry, blood banking, and reporting of malignancies. The laboratory management and administration, communication skills, and quality assurance are also other areas of weakness. MD Pathology program needs more focus on these weaknesses, so that newly qualified graduate would feel confident in day-to-day laboratory working.

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