Trent McBride\'s Bio

I am currently embarking on a career in pathology as a resident at the Universty of Kentucky. I took a year off between my second and third years of medical school to do a student fellowship in pathology, where I slowly learned that pathology is for me. Most people's perception of the discipline is colored by wathching CSI and Qunicy, but it is really actually much more than that. Those shows center on only forensic pathology, or more specifically, forensic autopsy. I am interested in neither. While autopsies were once what pathologists were known for, they are now a small part of the practice, and growing smaller. Medical autopsies are becoming infrequent due to improved diagnostic abilities, and forensic autopsies are handled by specialist medical examiners who do nothing but. And this is good for me, for while I am not grossed out by the whole process, I would rather just never do an autopsy again after I graduate residency.

Anyway, the rest of pathology is split into two fields that have varying degree of overlap - what are known as "anatomic" pathology and "clinical" pathology. Anatomic consists mostly of surgical pathology (examining surgical specimens by sampling and microscopic histology - think colon and lung tumors) and cytology (looking at cells collected from fluids and aspirates outside of their native tissue architecture - think Pap smears), and is considered the "bread and butter" of pathology. Clinical pathology consists of mostly managing clinical labs and blood banks and working with physicians to interpret lab data. One might call them the "doctor's doctor." As genetic and molecluar medicine grows and becomes more mainstream, clinical pathologists will help usher in this new era of medical science to general practices.

My personal interest lies in a field of pathology that most bridges the two worlds - hematopathology (essentially leukemias, lymphomas, and anemias). It consists of both looking at bone marrows and blood smears under the micrsope, but also interpreting a host of clinical laboratory data that relies on traditional testing and more molecular testing. These include the classic blood counts, relatively new flow cytometry (which counts individual cells by their cell membrane markers), cytogentics and molecular diagnostics. After my residency, I plan on doing a fellowship within this subspecialty.

I was born in 1977 in Henderson, Kentucky, on the Ohio River across form Evansville, Indiana. After graduating from high school in Henderson, I attended undergrad at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. It's a small liberal arts college in downtown Lexington. I thought I wanted a liberal arts education, but looking back, it just hindered my education by forcing me to take a bunch of classes that I didn't care about then and care about less now. It also kept me from taking a bunch of stuff that I wanted to take then, and deeply regret now having not taken. Anyway, now I spend a lot of my time reading and learning about stuff I could have learned a long time ago.

From there I moved across town to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where I am now in my pathology residency.

I joined Catallarchy late in 2004, just after a short stint at Galen's Log, and several months at my personal weblog, The Proximal Tubule. I plan on reviving TPT when my residency begins as a vehicle to start a blog dedicated to pathology, which is out of the scope of this blog. Any student, residents, or attending pathologists interested in any way, please contact me.

My intellectual heroes are numerous: David Friedman, Randy Barnett, Milton Friedman, Jacob Sullum, F.A. Hayek, Bill James, George Orwell, Steven Landsburg, Stephen Jay Gould, Virginia Postrel, and David Boaz. Ther are many others. All have had some role to play in who I am today, what I think, and why I think it.

Outside of the worlds of medicine and blogging, I am a huge sports fan, an ardent rooter for the UK Wildcats and the Chicago Cubs. My first love is baseball, and I am saddened that as I grow older, the opportunities to participate in baseball-like activities are next to zero. I was a successful tennis player in high school, and still play from time to time, but notoften enough. While I am a good athlete, the "sports" that I fnd myslef able to participate in are now limited to less "active" activities. I am a member of the Louisville Backgammon Club, and have become an avid Texas Hold 'Em fan and amateur player.

As I move forward in my medical career I would like to become active, in some capacity, in moving medicine into a more decentralized, market-oriented direction and also in convincing the medical comunity to stop implicitly supporting the drug war. If any other health care professionals are interesed or have ideas in moving in these directions, please contact me.

[View all of Trent's posts on this blog]

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