Path to Pathology as an International Medical School Graduate, Part Three
Blog Posted: Nov. 10, 2020

Have you enjoyed part one and part two of our Path to Pathology series? Our guest blogger for part three is Dr. Nabil Tabish (@NabilTabish), a second-year resident at Geisinger Medical Center. He attended medical school in Hyderabad, India and it was his grandfather’s disease which lead him to the field of medicine. This is Dr. Tabish’s path to pathology.

My grandfather was a beloved professor and a renowned published poet. He began to lean forward as I began to walk tall, and as I grew older I could see that he had developed a tremor in his right hand. Looking back, I understand the gradual progression of the disease that magnified throughout the course of his remaining life: my grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The elder gentleman who often had an infectious smile now had a face which expressed little but still had dense, intellectual resonating eyes. The diagnosis of dementia soon followed. The glories of his past were now tales only said by those who he once led. It was questions about his disease that led me to the field of medicine. My past set the tone for my career: I was heavily invested in learning geriatric medicine during medical school. This carried through in my residency in General Medicine in Hyderabad, India. My interests were in managing infectious diseases in adults and identifying gaps in clinical care delivery and drug compliance in the elderly. Eventually, Parkinson’s disease and the accompanying dementia got the better of my grandfather and he passed away, leaving me with questions about the disease that slowly took his life.

Unfortunately, I was the physician who took care of him during his last days. My interactions with him led me to question the little we know about the brain. I decided to pursue a career dedicated to finding answers. It was this pursuit that led me to the United States. To accomplish this, I completed a master's in clinical research at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California. I did a postdoctoral year at Mount Sinai in neuropathology in Crary laboratory. I was exclusively studying dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. However, exclusive bench research seemed rather challenging without the clinical context. I had one certain ideology in my mind—I will make every pursuit from here on out to understanding the diseases of the brain. My experience at Mount Sinai made me turn a corner towards pathology. The mix of clinical medicine and the ability to pursue research were almost homogenous. As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words and pathology personifies this image. The beauty behind the hematoxylin and eosinophil stained slides is not just unique but at par with the Starry Night by van Gogh. Art, you see, heals misery.

I am currently pursuing Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology in one of the most advanced programs with a reimagined curriculum in a state of art laboratory at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. I wake up each day with a vigor, not just to navigate a step closer to understand the diseases of the brain but to solve the puzzles that come entwined in layers of color. I am fortunate to have exceptional mentorship here at Geisinger, and I am studying a cohort of over 250,000 patients with whole exome sequencing data targeting movement disorders and degenerative brain diseases.

I have a unique perspective toward Pathology. With my clinical background, research interest and the desire to serve, pathology checks all the boxes in a pristine and precise way.

Our sincerest thanks to Dr. Tabish for sharing his personal story. Stay tuned because this series continues. Part four will feature guest blogger and current Pathology residency applicant Farzana Arab. Are you an international medical school student or graduate? Would you like to share your path to pathology? We want to hear from you! Just email Kristin at kmitchener@instapathbio.com.

Built on the vision of better patient outcomes, Instapath was founded in 2017 by engineers and scientists to enable patients to immediately know their cancer diagnosis. Our team made it our mission to develop fast and easy digital pathology technology so diagnosis can be made in minutes instead of days. To learn more about Instapath and our technology, visit https://instapathbio.com/tech/ or contact us at info@instapathbio.com.

Mei Wang Mei Wang, Ph.D. | CEO at Instapath