We’re celebrating International Pathology Day by sharing this interview with our very own pathologist, Dr. Ben Stueben.
1. What advice do you have for aspiring pathologists?
Answer: Try to strive to become more detail-oriented, the slightest error in pathology can alter the proper approach to patient care.
2. What do you like most about being a pathologist?
Answer: I enjoy the exposure to a variety of fields of medicine.
3. If you had to do it all over again, would you still become a pathologist? What would you do differently?
Answer: I had a surgery spot and almost went into surgery. It was a hard decision and if I went back I could have just as easily chosen surgery rather than pathology. Surgeons typically have a more difficult temperament than the laid-back pathologists so I went with pathology.
4. What surprised you most about pathology?
5. Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew when you began your career in pathology?
Answer: The effects of daily exposure to formalin is one thing. A lot of the specimens have to be placed in formalin during the grossing of the specimens. Our program had unacceptably high levels for a long time and I could feel physically sick from being around it.
6. What do you do to destress?
Answer: I enjoy going to the gym and long fishing trips.
7. What was your biggest obstacle on your journey to becoming a pathologist?
Answer: Probably my residency program director and senior residents at the time. They were just under a lot of stress and would take things out on the newer residents, which made it harder to perform my own tasks.