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How to Prevent (or pull yourself out of) Career Burnout

We asked the #PathTwitter community to share their advice for pathologists who may be facing burnout and the response was resounding. The topic of burnout is a hot one and one that many pathologists may face at some point in their career. Here is what fellow pathologists shared with us on how to prevent, or pull yourself out of, burnout.

Be Present

Dr. Alexander Damron (@ADamronMD) noted that the days can be long and hours can be tough. That’s why it’s important to separate yourself from pathology every week to spend time with family and friends. Enjoy every moment for what it is as those moments only happen once. Dr. Valerie Fitzhugh (@DrFNA) added that sometimes you have to take a step back and look at your joy outside of work. Our joys in life can give us peace when we need them.

Be Active

Dr. Craig Horbinski (@CraigHorbinski) said he doesn’t just look through the microscope and sign cases out, but he also spends a lot of time doing research, writing, giving talks and completing administrative duties to keep things fresh. Dr. Felipe Templo, Jr. (@thejourneymate) also noted the importance for pathologists to pursue other areas of the specialty like teaching, research and social media. Even trying out emerging technologies like digital pathology can mix things up and keep your work environment diverse.

Be Prepared

Dr. Nicola Parry (@MidwestVetPath) suggested reflecting on whether it’s an internal or a systemic problem. If it’s systemic and related to something inflexible in the work environment, it might be time for a new job with a ‘better fit’ environment. Dr. Jerad Gardner (@JMGardnerMD) and Dr. Leon Metlay (@leon_metlay) noted the importance of saying no and being prepared to change jobs if needed.

Be Brave

Dr. Donald Karcher (@DonKarcherMD) said if you’re feeling burnt out, be brave enough to admit it. Look at your support system. Family, friends, colleagues and mentors are all great resources where you can find comfort and clarity. But you have to let them in and let them know how you are feeling so they can help.

The #PathTwitter community is an amazing resource not just for education but for connection as well. Dr. Marilyn Bui (@DrBuiPathology) pointed out that #PathTwitter should be energizing. If you begin to feel stressed out because you see that so many people seem to be doing great things and having fun, it’s important to reframe your thinking. Everyone has their own struggles.

We hope this blog post serves as words of encouragement from your fellow pathologists. If you are experiencing burnout, try some of the suggestions above. Ultimately, your health and happiness are most important so let these words be a guiding light during challenging times.

Built on the vision of better patient outcomes, Instapath was founded in 2017 by engineers and scientists to enable patients to immediately know their cancer diagnosis. Our team made it our mission to develop fast and easy digital pathology technology so diagnosis can be made in minutes instead of days. To learn more about Instapath and our technology, visit or contact us at

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