Wouldn't it be great if a pathologist could offload some of this work on their high peak days? Since the local workload has already been divided equally among my partners and myself, I can't really ask them to do more work than I am. What if my partners and I could get help on the spur of the moment? What if we could have an "instant locum tenens"?
In a previous blog, I described a hypothetical company, that I called Uberpathology. Uberpathology would be a digital pathology consulting company that would receive digital pathology cases from overseas. Uberpathology would route these cases to its network of experienced and subspecialist pathologists who are credentialed and validated for primary interpretation of whole slide images. The pathologists would be independent contractors who could choose when they would be available to work, like Uber or Lyft drivers do. However, Uberpathology would also accept domestic cases. This new company would be the means to level out the workload on very high peak days for pathology groups. Uberpathology would be the way to reduce stress, reduce error from overwork and prevent burnout.
Most pathology groups staff for an overage workload, not for peak workload. This is because pathologists are expensive. In addition to peaks in workload, a pathology group may have a sudden and sustained increase in workload., such as a new hospital contract or the expected departure of a pathologist. If this happens, the group can be extremely stressed out. An Uberpathology company could be a temporary solution to deal with the increased workload until the group is able to recruit and onboard a new pathologist.