Get to Know Patrick Godbey, MD November Member Spotlight


Patrick Godbey, MD

Immediate Past President of the College of American Pathologists
CEO Southeastern Pathology Associates
Laboratory Director Southeastern Pathology Associates & Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center 
Brunswick, Georgia 


What is your current role?
CEO, Southeastern Pathology Associates; Laboratory Director Southeastern Pathology Associates and Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center, Brunswick Campus; Immediate Past President College of American Pathologists.

What is the best part of your occupation? There are many good parts. One is knowing that I play a fundamental role in the care of almost every patient. Another is knowing that I will interact with so many interesting people each day, including pathologists, other physicians, and medical laboratory scientists.

How did you become interested in pathology?
I am an Ob/Gyn and a FACOG. To get ready for my oral boards, I took a rotation through the laboratory as a PGY3. I remember thinking, "Where has this been? This is great!" After completing this elective, the chair told me that if I ever wanted to come back to let him know, he would find a place for me. After about five years, I made the call and began my AP/CP residency on April Fools Day. He remarked that the only thing that surprised him was how long it took me to call. I returned to the same town where I had practiced Ob/Gyn four years later and started a free-standing, independent lab I financed. 

How did you become involved with the FSP?
I knew that I needed to become involved with the FSP when my practice expanded into Florida. I feel that every pathologist and pathology trainee should be members of their state pathology organization and the CAP.

Explain how you benefit from being a member of FSP?
I benefit in many, many ways. I think we need to remember that a great deal of the regulatory burden under which we labor originates in Tallahassee. Many decisions concerning Medicaid, private payors, medical licensing, and malpractice laws are made at the state level. As a pathologist, I need someone to look out for me, and the FSP does an outstanding job of doing so.

What would you like to see occur in the field of pathology (i.e., scientific advances, greater awareness of the field, etc.) during your career?  
I would like to see more medical students enter our field. The importance of our role in the care of our patients is going to continue to increase. Unless something happens, there will not be enough of us to fulfill this role. Others who are less qualified will want to step in, much to the detriment of patients. This is why, as President, I started the CAP's pipeline initiative.

What are your hobbies outside of the office?
I am a private pilot and enjoy flying antique aircraft, including the Piper Colt that I own.

What is something surprising that most people do not know about you?
It has been my honor to be the President of the College of American Pathologists for the past two years. It has been my privilege to lead and speak for the members of this special organization, particularly during these two years. Thank you.