Dubravka used to work as a specialist pathologist in Bjelovar, and today, she has been living and working for more than two years with her family in Esbjerg, Denmark. “In Denmark, as a pathologist, one focuses on a narrower area of pathology, which means 2 to maximum 3 areas of pathology, e.g. gastropathology, uropathology and similar, as it is done in Croatia at larger clinics. However, here, this is the case in every hospital. This allows you to dedicate your work fully to your particular area of specialization and always be informed about novelties related to your area. The guidelines are elaborated in detail here and are revised on an annual basis. You are regularly informed about the revisions and you are allowed to participate actively in their elaboration via different working groups in which you can present your opinion on the new guidelines.
Working conditions and the equipment are terrific, numerous modern methods are available and detailed analyses are conducted according to highest world standards. Team approach to patients is very important, so multidisciplinary meetings are held several times a week, during which doctors with different specializations plan the therapy and further diagnostics for every patient with malign disease or if there is a doubt of a malign disease.
Also, the way the medical personnel, e.g. surgeons, send you the materials for analysis is standardized. Everything is marked according to prescribed standards so that you can assess everything needed for a right diagnosis based on the provided materials.
The are only a few autopsies. They are only conducted in cases of unclear death cause. I, for example, do not personally conduct autopsies. I could if I wanted to, but I am not expected to. This allows for more time and for full dedication to microscope-analyses.
To write the findings, a voice recognition system is mainly used, which means that you dictate the findings on your computer and it automatically writes the findings. Sometimes the findings are dictated to a secretary or codes are used, which after entered, offer a standardized finished text for a particular diagnosis. All in all, writing of findings has been facilitated as much as possible.
My impression is that pathologists in Denmark play a more important role than in Croatia. They are not marginalized, but rather they are an integral part of the team, whose findings are equally taken into consideration in further planning of therapy.
Regular vocational education is important. Hence, regular participation in professional congresses, different courses and professional working groups is enabled.
Last, but not least, the salary. The salary is very good and one can live without any problems on one salary if the spouse decides not to work. We both decided to work”.