Prof. Ruth Shako-Levi, Director of the Pathology Institute in Soroka Medical Center and Chairman of the Israeli Association of Pathologists claims that the number of pathologists in Israel is in a worrying decline. In an article published in Haaretz (31.7.16), Shako-Levi attributes the decline mainly to an unjustified bad reputation of this important profession, although many medical decisions and treatments depend on pathological diagnosis of cells, tissues, growths, infections and diseases.
There is a confusion between pathological forensic medicine, that deals among others with autopsies and crime deciphering, and pathological diagnosis that enables decisions regarding obtaining patients recovery and health.
Shako-Levi asks to find ways to improve pathologist's public relations in the media and in medical school, including offering medical students incentives to encourage them to choose this specialization.
In Israel there are 1.96 pathologists per 100,000 people, less than half found in the USA. This ratio indicates the massive workload on the shoulder of each pathologist.
We asked several medical students if they would consider specializing in pathology. Most said no, because they want to enjoy the satisfaction of the encounter with the people they work so hard to help.
What do the more experienced pathologists say?
The world of pathological diagnosis is wide and fascinating, there is always something new to discover. New technologies are added to the classic methods but haven't replaced the need for a sharp and skilled pathologist. This kind of work can suit doctors who enjoy the small details, constant learning, and long hours in front of a microscope.