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In Conversation With Dr. Pallavi Patil

Ranjani Saigal

Pallavi Patil, MBBS, MD, is an anatomic clinical pathology resident physician at Brown University in Providence, RI. She is joining Yale University in 2019 as fellow in gastrointestinal & liver pathology, and has an additional interest in bone and soft tissue pathology. Pallavi graduated from Seth G. S. Medical College & King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, trained in pathology at T.N. Medical College and B.Y.L. Nair Hospital, and was research fellow at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio. Pallavi Patil is among 40 high-achieving pathologists, pathology residents, and medical laboratory professionals under age 40 who have just been named to the prestigious 2018 ASCP 40 Under Forty list.

She has gained experience of making best of low cost settings and working with diverse cultures. Pallavi attributes her education to pathologists and laboratory technologists who play a very important role in training. She promotes pathology by mentoring and teaching medical students and observers at Brown University as resident director of observership program, online through her freely available guide to apply for pathology residency and engagement in regional social events. She works on editorial boards and ad-hoc reviewer for scientific journals and in committees of pathology organizations. Her research and publications on neoplasia include finding prognostic and predictive factors and better differentiation between neoplastic entities. Recently, she has focused on immune microenvironment to understand immune evasion for immune based therapies.

Congratulations on being chosen as an ASCP 2018 40 Under Forty honoree. Could you tell us a little about the award? 

The ASCP 40 Under Forty program recognizes members under the age of 40 for their achievements and leadership qualities that are making an impact on pathology and laboratory medicine. Pathologists, Laboratory Professionals and Residents are chosen annually through an application or nomination process. The program has recognized worthy members of the laboratory team both nationally and internationally. Five individuals are selected as the 40 Under Forty Top Five through a combination of public voting and committee selection. 

The 40 Under Forty recognition has made a powerful impact on all of its honorees, ranging from pronounced recognition within their organization to exciting media attention.

About ASCP

Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is a medical professional society with more than 100,000 member board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals, and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. To learn more, visit www.ascp.org.  

Could you give us an overview of your work ? 

I am actively working in cancer research trying to find parameters in immune mechanisms related to cancer in order to determine use of immune based treatments, e.g. stomach cancer, gall bladder cancer, and uterine cancer. I have been working on better distinguishing on tumor from another, and factors that can help us to determine how the tumor is going to progress or respond to treatment. I am involved with educating and mentoring rotating medical students and international observers as resident director of the observership program at Brown University and teaching medical students at Brown University. I have worked on the editorial board of few pathology journals, and am an ad hoc reviewer for a number of medical journals. I serve on the Graduate Medical Education Quality and Safety Committee, and Wellness Committee, working towards quality of services and activities related to well being of trainees.

What motivated you to specialize in Pathology?

Pathology is my chosen career, as I believe it is an excellent blend of everything I have desired for my professional occupation. Looking back, I have always foreseen my future as a medical professional engaged in research? pathology being the answer of my quest for a discipline of medicine that gives a perfect poise to my clinical acumen, and analytical and inquisitive skills. I look upon works of geniuses that continue to improve the life of mankind as my ideals, and pathology gives me the opportunity to engage in patient care and pursue research to enable better treatment. As a medical student, my “wow” moment was when I saw scanning electron micrograph pictures in first year, since then the cells and tissues have always been of special interest to me in relation to the clinical diagnosis and management. 

What are the new areas that provide opportunities for research in the area of pathology?

Pathology and laboratory medicine has and is increasingly playing a role in providing information related to how tumors are going to behave, how far the tumors will respond, and which treatment will work better in tumors as well as in other diseases. At present and in future, testing and therapies based on immune system and genomics will gain an increasing role in healthcare. I have been working on and seek to continue my work on immunity related to tumors and in determining markers that predict tumor behaviour.  

You did your medical training in India. How do you compare the training in India to the USA? 

Each has unique advantages, it would comparing apples with oranges. Because of the different practice and cultural settings, each are geared differently but effectively. As I have done most of my medical training in Mumbai, I have found more similarities. 

Any advice for young doctors planning a career in Pathology? 

Pathology is a great blend of clinical work related to patients, and getting to work at your own microscope and pursue research linking basic sciences with clinical medicine. The interpretation requires clinical correlation, interpreting microscopy can be fun and very fascinating, particularly when people find art in pathology images. In case planning a career in pathology it helps to do observerships and electives in pathology to get an idea of the daily working of a pathology laboratory. I also helps to attend pathology annual meeting to check out what is up and coming in pathology, meet pathologists to make acquaintances as a prospective applicant, and get an idea about the profession on a larger scale. 

Any special message for our readers ?  

Pathology plays a large and significant role in patient care, much larger than appears to the patients. Pathology reports play a role in determining the diagnosis of most conditions, determine tumor type, characteristics of the tumors to determine type of surgery or other treatments the patients will receive, and molecular testing in pathology is increasingly being used to determine which drugs to use. Some pathologists are increasing getting more engaged with patients to help them understand their reports, and it wouldn't hurt to find out if you would like to sit down with your pathologist, or find them on twitter #pathologists or find them on Facebook in patient support groups.

The voting for the Top 5 honorees among the 40 is ongoing on social media, would greatly appreciate the support from everyone- 
The voting links is :  

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