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Pathology and Digital Communications: Part One

There is a new fellowship in town called the Digital Communications Fellowship in Pathology (DCF)(@DCF_Path), supported by The Pathologist magazine (@pathologistmag) and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. When we first learned about the fellowship, we knew we had to pick the brains of founders Dr. Kamran Mirza (@KMirza), Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and Dr. Michael Schubert (@MichaelPathMag), Executive Editor of The Pathologist. In fact, in part two you’ll be able to read our interview with them as we ask them about all things DCF. Plus, hear their insights on what the fellowship means long-term for pathology. And that’s a great place for us to start here. What is the connection between digital communications and pathology?

According to the DCF information located at, “The fellowship was conceived as a means for trainees to leverage digital communication to become leaders in pathology. The ability to define a successful digital presence is a core competency of the future.” We all have a professional digital presence, even if we have yet to explore its potential. For those who are active on social media, your Facebook posts, tweets, YouTube videos (and so much more) together compose your digital presence; it’s how you present yourself virtually. You can utilize digital communications to showcase any number of your skills or hobbies or family life, and you can also use it professionally to move your career forward.

The fellowship’s faculty have a combined Twitter following of over 100,000 followers! Sure, it’s a lot of pathologists following pathologists, but other specialties like radiology and internal medicine are also reading what pathologists are posting. Medical students are reading what pathologists are posting. The non-medical community is reading what pathologists are posting. Not only is your digital presence important for your reputation, it’s important to your entire profession. Also, your digital presence is another avenue to voice what matters to you. Want more pathologists in the pipeline? You have a digital presence so it’s up to you to represent pathology well, to educate, post interesting cases and spark discussion. As we reported in our recent blog post #Pathologists: The New Social Media Influencers (part two), an international, multi-institutional study was conducted entirely over Twitter. Those are the opportunities you are presented with when you have a successful digital presence. It’s not all about who has the most followers (well, sometimes it is :)). It’s what you do with those followers that makes the difference. How do you engage them? How do you allow yourself to be engaged?

The fellowship isn’t about bringing the pathologist out from the dark lab. That notion is tired. Pathologists are already in the spotlight, performing patient-pathologist consultations, hosting podcasts with incredible reach, and continuing to take Twitter and other social media avenues like YouTube and Facebook by storm. Pathologists are in the limelight mentoring, networking, educating, and creating content popular to the tune of tens of thousands of people. This fellowship will help craft the next generation of pathology leaders by giving them a platform to voice their love (and knowledge) for pathology, to start leading their followers by teaching, mentoring, and collaborating with them -- new research studies? New pathology resources? There is no limit when we are speaking virtually.

In part two, we will dive deeper into this exciting fellowship as we talk to founders Dr. Kamran Mirza and Dr. Michael Schubert. For more information about the Digital Communications Fellowship in Pathology, visit

Instapath was founded in 2017 by the same engineers and scientists who developed the original prototypes. Our vision is to enable patients to immediately know their cancer diagnosis instead of waiting days or weeks for the results. Instapath builds microscopy platforms to improve patient care in the form of faster turnaround times and prevention of high risk and costly repeat biopsy procedures. Further, our goal is to provide users with a seamless, modernized digital pathology workflow with tools to complete all pathology evaluations needed to provide the most precise and efficient diagnoses for patients.

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