On being a pathologist: a pathway to pathology practice; the added value of supplemental vocational training and mentoring in college and medical school

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Traditionally, vocational training and liberal arts (and premedical) curricula have been separate education tracks. This personal profile describes a program that evolved from the partial fusion of vocational training and a premedical education track. My personal health issue, visual impairment, which presumably resulted as a complication of congenital toxoplasmosis, hampered my ability to read in grammar school and necessitated my placement in remedial reading classes until eighth grade. My father created an independent home-based vocational training program that ran in parallel to my traditional school education all the way through college. In this case study, I provide an overview of this hybrid education program, which we refer to as the Vocational Training/Medical College Curriculum of the Future (VTMC). This term implies that the education of a student from K-12 school through medical college is a continuum. I find it useful to conceptualize a single education continuum beginning with vocational training and ending with medical education, with a large overlap area in the middle. In this paper, I describe a set of my work experiences that leveraged and reinforced my didactic education experiences. Mentors who supported aspects of the VTMC program have included a college president, a US Congressman, a Nobel Laureate, and a Massachusetts General Hospital leader in academic pathology. Elements of this innovative VTMC program have been used in K-12 public schools and in nonmedical graduate school programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Pathology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018



  • Careers
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Interdisciplinary education
  • Medical education
  • Pathology
  • STEM
  • Vocational training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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