Excellent post from Digital Pathology Blog on the demise of the general surgical pathologist! It's amazing (and worrisome) that this happened so quickly in our field.
What happens to those "orphan" areas that don't really have a subspecialty training or certification or lack sufficient volume-even in some training centers--to "pay for" a full-time subspecialist? Head and neck, neuropathology, cardiac pathology for example? I propose that the general decline in autopsies (providing exposure to general pathology), lack of recognition and reimbursement for clinical pathology (and autopsies), and GI/urology usurpation of pathology practices have contributed mightily to this trend and almost singularly focuses resident training and practice on surgical pathology. I fear "molecular pathology" (and something unique, separate or distinctive from plain-ol' surgical pathology) will only exacerbate this trend. I could see there being molecular pathologists that are uncomfortable signing out surgical pathology--even within a subspecialty.
Kudos to Dr. Kaplan for broaching this subject! This is a complex issue that I'm not sure is even on the radar screens of our representative pathology societies.