The Swan Song of a Pathologist: “Why Do I Love Thee, Pathology? Let Me Count the Ways….”

Bhagirath Majmudar*

The Swan Song of a Pathologist: “Why Do I Love Thee, Pathology? Let Me Count the Ways….”.

Having retired from the active practice of pathology after 50-plus years, I thought I should share my career experience.

The word post-mortem slips in habitually, but the word is inept to express the feeling of joie de vivre I uninterruptedly experienced during my wakeful period of more than half a century.

In my medical school in India, there was literally a bridge that connected to the large hospital complex with the Pathology Department.

The bridge was busy as ever during the daytime, trodden by the fast footsteps of medical students, residents, and clinicians.

The chairman of the Pathology Department had established an academic aura that resulted in a constant cluster of clinicians drawn to him for consultation, as if by phototaxis. Pathology thus occupied a distinct place of respect in my beginner’s mind.

The textbook of pathology for my undergraduate rotation was written by William Boyd, a Canadian pathologist with an uncanny ability to write science books as if they were fiction.

He had a mastery of language, expressing concepts and images, punctuated with poetic reflections that sculpted indelibly in the minds of readers.

The cumulative effect of all these factors irresistibly drew me to pathology. The dean of my medical school, who became a rabbi in his post-retirement period, called me personally to dissuade me from going into pathology.

This was not a solitary example, as I later saw similar examples in the USA. My dean was looking at the negative image as in earlier photography, whereas I was looking at the positive print into which it would develop.

Pathol Lab Med Open J. 2016; 1(1): e8-e10. doi: 10.17140/PLMOJ-1-e003