My favorite part of being a pathologist is when the whole puzzle comes together to provide a diagnosis for the patient that can potentially reverse symptoms. This is particularly gratifying when the ultimate diagnosis has resulted from a close collaboration with the clinical team, often reviewing slides and clinical data together at the scope. For example, in critically ill patients who present with symptoms of hematophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in adulthood, it is typically due to an underlying cause such as infection or malignancy. Expediently identifying the cause is critical to directing therapy in what otherwise may lead to a rapidly progressive and fatal course.
My other favorite part of pathology is the online pathology community, which continues to grow on social media. It is a welcoming, enthusiastic group, with the majority incredibly passionate about teaching, learning or just sharing interesting and unusual cases. Many have become close friends, collaborators or coauthors. It is wonderful to have the chance to meet in real life, and the connections have opened a whole world of pathology to me outside my immediate circle of colleagues that I would never have expected.