Stories from the Heart: Journey to Become a Pathologist, the Dream of a Lifetime

Mar 07, 2018

Dr. Sai Kumar, MD, is the first place winner of the ASCP 2018 Stories from the Heart contest.

By Sai Kumar, MD

In my second year of medical school, thoughts of uncertainty and unpreparedness occupied my mind on questions of how to be a good doctor. I was told by a close senior colleague that the panacea for this was PATHOLOGY. He suggested I read a book by Robbins. I was very much absorbed by the preamble of the book which said, “They leave a legacy of excellence that will enrich the lives of generations of future physicians.” My understanding of it was, “It’s quite an important subject for a strong clinical medicine.”

As time passed, pathology has become more intriguing, and I started using its very principles in every clinic. The more I journeyed toward clinical medicine, the stronger my urge to be a pathologist became. It’s here that the strong seeds to become a pathologist were sowed. Four and a half years later, I became a pathology resident. It felt like my dream came true. In my second year of residency, after seeing legendary professors in pathology, it was crystal clear to me that there are no masters in this subject of pathology, but only lifelong learners. This very thought gave me a huge boost and reminded me the words of Robert Frost: “Woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”

The more I ventured, the more I discovered that scientific innovations and research are at the heart of pathology, and I started moving toward this exciting arena. It’s my journey as a pathologist that helped me rediscover why pathologists are called the doctor of doctors! In my budding years as a pathologist, I find this enthusiastic brainstorm invigorating.