Strong Job Market for Pathologists

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine




CONTEXT.—: There has long been debate about whether and when there may be a shortage of pathologists in the United States. One way to assess this is to survey the hiring experiences of pathology practices. A 2018 survey revealed a strong demand for pathologists, with expectations of continued strength. This study updates that prior analysis using data from a 2021 survey of pathology practice leaders. OBJECTIVE.—: To assess the US pathologist job market and examine implications. DESIGN.—: We analyzed data from the 2021 College of American Pathologists Practice Leader Survey. This survey queried practice leaders, including the hiring of pathologists, the level of experience being sought, success in filling positions, and expectations for hiring in the next 3 years. RESULTS.—: Among the 375 surveyed practice leaders (about one-third of all US pathology practices), 282 provided information about pathologist hiring in 2021. A total of 157 of these 282 practices (55.7%) sought to hire at least 1 pathologist in 2021, up from 116 of 256 practices (45.3%) in 2017; the mean number of pathologists hired per practice also increased. In 2021, a total of 175 of 385 positions (45.5%) were to fill new positions, compared with 95 of 249 positions (38.2%) in 2017. Most practice leaders were comfortable hiring pathologists with less than 2 years of posttraining experience. Practice leaders anticipated continued strong demand for hiring pathologists during the next 3 years. CONCLUSIONS.—: Our analysis confirms the demand in pathologist hiring is strong, and much increased from 2017. Combined with other job market indicators, we believe that demand may outstrip the supply of pathologists, which is limited by the number of trainees that has remained constant during the past 20 years.