Disagreement exists within the pathology community about the status of the job market for pathologists. Although many agree that jobs in pathology were harder to come by earlier this decade, recent evidence suggests improvement is occurring.
To assess the state of the job market for pathologists.
We analyzed data from the 2018 College of American Pathologists Practice Leader Survey. This survey contains data from 253 practice leaders on practices’ hiring (and retrenchments) in 2017, the skills and level of experience being sought, success in filling those positions, and expectations for hiring in the next 3 years.
Among the surveyed practice leaders, 115 (45.5%) sought to hire at least 1 pathologist in 2017, and together tried to fill 246 full-time equivalent positions that year, of which 93.5 full-time equivalents (38%) were newly created. This hiring was not limited to larger, academic-based practices, but also occurred among smaller practices and practices based in nonacademic hospitals, independent laboratories, and other settings. Although some practices retrenched (60 full-time equivalents in 2017), the net increase was a healthy 187 full-time equivalents. Practices most frequently sought pathologists who had at least 2 years of experience, but the level of experience identified with the “optimal” candidate varied by desired areas of subspecialty expertise. Practice leaders also reported expected growth in hiring, with the number of positions they hope to fill in the next 3 years exceeding those vacated by retirement.
Our findings support the proposition that the demand for pathologists is strong, at least at the current time.