Medicine Aragon Zaragoza | Aragon pathologists condemn lack of resources and relief

Pathological anatomy is one of the most unknown branches of medicine., specialty Focuses its work on analyzing each patient’s tissues and cells to give a diagnosis and advance the prognosis of the disease and provide treatment options. Therefore, their work remains within laboratories and out of the focus of patients, which affects the recognition they receive from a large section of society and, in many cases, casts them into oblivion.

Therefore, within the broader problem of shortageand generational change that other medical specialties (as well as other fields) are suffering, Pathological Anatomy is doubly suffering from a phenomenon that also compromises its future viability in Aragon., This is confirmed by Mar García, President of the Aragon Territorial Association of the Spanish Society of Pathological Anatomy (SEAP). “The shortage of pathologists is obvious,” Garcia begins.

The first is determined by the competent administration. “The number of places offered after the MIR examination in recent years has had a poor prognosis. It is also added that in some years not all spaces have been filled, or residents have left the specialty midway,” Garcia says that she regrets the less attention paid to her profession. “We have achieved something in recent years because we are part of multidisciplinary committees with professionals from other specialties, but I think we are still not at the same level of recognition as other specialists,” he reflects. . ,Our role is compared to that of a notary. “We are the ones who write down the names of diseases on paper, but the diagnoses we make are essential for treating patients properly.”The President adds.

vacant post

Currently, Valentine is working in the community There are a total of 50 specialists in pathological anatomy (42 with permanent post and eight without permanent post) and, in addition, two vacant posts, one in Alcaniz and the other in Teruel. Furthermore, Mar García recalls that, in Calatayud, “a position was eliminated a few years ago, so now there is only one pathologist when another position would be necessary.”, If pathological anatomy is not in good health in Aragon, it does not seem that the future will bring good news for this specialization. The President of the Aragon Territorial Association of SEAP warns In the coming years, between five and seven retirements are expected in the capital Zaragoza alone., “It’s going to be very complex to fill the voids that are going to be created,” he explains.

If the pathological anatomy situation in Aragon is complex, the community’s facilities faced technical delays This is a deciding factor that drives some students deciding on specialization to run away, or discourages them from coming. “A large percentage of the doctors who train here, when they finish their training, move to other hospitals outside Aragon.», emphasizes García, something that, despite himself, he understands perfectly.

The work of pathologists is given less importance

,I came from Barcelona to study in 2015 and when I came to Zaragoza it was like going back 30 years. We are in a situation of huge inequality compared to other areas of the country», Garcia protests. A claim that, more than the professionals themselves, is also made to the patients. “Today it is essential to have all the necessary tools for accurate diagnosis of diseases like cancer and access to the most advanced treatments. Lack of investment and long-term commitment at hospitals and government level from those who have decision-making power, Not only do we not have cutting-edge technology that has been implemented in other communities for years, butThe procedures for requesting new technologies are difficult here», condemns the president of the Aragon Territorial Association of SEAP. So much so that this technical delay creates real problems for patients in Aragon: «“There are samples that must be referred outside the hospital, even from our community, resulting in delayed results.”


To try to make pathological anatomy the “most unknown” of medical specialties, Mar García announced that he was trying to bring about a small revolution in its teaching at the Faculty. “The courses are outdated, there are too many of them and it is a difficult subject in the introductory courses, We are making a big effort to update both the content and the ways of disseminating our work,” the pathologist admits. To this end, Unizar has implemented a project titled Pathologist for a day, ,We want students to want more and consider our expertise as an option», says Mar García, who claims to continue looking for formulas to avoid the crisis in his expertise in Aragon.

“Doing medicine and not seeing patients…”

That pathological anatomy is not one of the specialties most sought after by future doctors can be easily proven by taking a simple walk around the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zaragoza. Students value its importance, but it is far from their priorities and they consider it one of the least attractive

The most repeated argument among university students is that they do not deal directly with the sick. “Studying medicine and never seeing a patient in my entire life…” reflects second-year student Marcos Calavia. The young man from Aragon believes that pathologists are essential and do work that is often made invisible even by the very people their diagnosticians manage to save. Marcos admits, “In the end, the patient is always left with the face of the doctor who operates on him, who examines him and with whom he has constant contact.”

In the same sense, his classmate, Roberto, points to “more research and laboratory” work, which includes pathological anatomy. “Generally, people who study medicine do so as a vocation and to help others. I don’t want to say that they don’t do it, that they do it a lot, but I think they don’t get the gratitude that makes your work rewarding and in the end very comfortable for the doctor.” He Says.

As their years of study progress, medical students think about other variables as well. Monica Delgado, in fifth year, points out another factor that, if pathological anatomy is already included in some lists of medical students’ favorites, holds back future professionals, the economic factor. “In any other specialty, doctors have the possibility of being on call and working in more laboratory-based specialties, which doesn’t exist,” the student says. (and about three times as many) based on guards.

Internship during six years of study also does not help undecided students in choosing a specialty: “I have already seen everything in hospitals.” No matter how much you love research, you can’t compare looking through a microscope to attending a birth. As those who do Pathological Anatomy understand from the first time, it is very difficult to achieve the will in the race.


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