It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to our nation's capitol for the 99th annual meeting of USCAP in Washington, D.C. at the historic Wardman Park Hotel! I am honored to have served you as your President during this very busy year that marshaled the talents of many to accomplish much for our Academy.
Commendation for Educational Excellence
Our logo's tagline, "Leading Pathology Educational Excellence." is not a lofty goal or an empty promise. It is our compass for all our endeavors and our commitment to continuously deliver upon for our members. We are very pleased that after a nearly one-year preparation process, involving countless hours by both staff and leadership, the Academy has been awarded the maximum term of six years for "Accreditation with Commendation" to provide continuing medical education. Only about 4-5% of all organizations reviewed by the ACCME achieve this status. We are indebted to the Augusta office staff and the intense efforts of Dr. Tarik Tihan and his CME/ACCME Sub-committee of Drs. Greg Fuller, Christina Isacson, Michele Bloomer, and Brad Quade and the presentation made to ACCME in Chicago by Drs. Jeffrey Myers, John Goldblum, Tarik Tihan, Fred Silva and Jo Ann Johnson.
This meeting showcases our vitality as the largest meeting of pathologists and trainees world-wide, our breadth and depth of pathology expertise, educational innovation and respect for our past. We follow on the largest meeting of physician pathologists in the world: 4,262 at the 2009 meeting in Boston!
This year you may avail yourselves of 1,968 abstracts (all time record number of accepted abstracts) that boast 1119 (57%) first authored by a house staff/fellow, 60 short courses (21 of them are new), 19 Specialty Conferences, 26 Companion Society Symposia, and 4 Special Courses. These include Basic Principles and Practice of Molecular Pathology in Cancer directed by Julia A. Bridge, Advanced Molecular Pathology directed by Frederic G. Barr, Careers in Investigative Pathology: Building a Research Program directed by David Berman and Massimo Loda and a new Special Course entitled Navigating the Academic Waters: A Survival Course for Residents and Junior Faculty by Dr. Sharon Weiss. The Wednesday Long Course is Endocrine Pathology: Thyroid and Other Endocrine Tumors directed by Ricardo Lloyd and Yuri Nikiforov.
In the Timely Topics Lecture, Dr. Anthony Atala will share his groundbreaking accomplishments and the remarkable story of the emerging discipline of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Eventually, will we pathologists be able distinguish man-made organs from the real thing?
I am most proud that this year we honor great pathologists that I have had the pleasure to know and work with over the years- Dr. Juan Rosai with the Distinguished Pathologist Award, whose early book I yellow highlighted 3 times over, Drs. John Eble and James Crawford with the F.K Mostofi Award (John was selected to continue his leadership of Modern Pathology which was recently rated the #1 general, diagnostic/anatomic/surgical pathology journal by impact factor!) and Dr. Jeff Myers with the President's Award for his many contributions to our innovation and success.
If there was a "comedian's award" I would have bestowed it upon none other than Henry Appelman for this year's Maude Abbott Lecture on what else - but some bowel topic!
Attendees may choose from 252 SAM credits available at this annual meeting. To address the growing self-assessment and recertification needs of our membership, at this meeting you may now obtain SAM or CME credits at no additional charge for the evening Specialty Conferences and many of our jointly-sponsored, organ-subspecialty specific Companion Societies. The addition of SAMs for these two types of offerings, in addition to the 58 Short Courses already offering SAMs, greatly increases the number of subspecialty SAM credits available to attendees at the USCAP Annual Meeting.
We have revamped the look, feel and function of our USCAP website to be more user-friendly with better navigation, and a more intuitive Search function. For the latter, we thank Dr. Tarik Elsheikh for his generosity. Members will also benefit from the new online "Virtual Hallway," a secure, networking portal that allows members to privately set up their own colleague networks by special interest, post and discuss cases/images, create threaded message boards.
USCAP Website's Knowledge Hub
This continues to be extraordinarily active with up to 10 million "hits"/month and up to more than 1 million total page views/month from as many as 24,000+ different pathologists from over 168 countries. Of our 1800+ separate educational modules on the Knowledge Hub, over 1500-1600 are each receiving at least 20 page loads/month; thus most of our educational materials are being "hit" and used throughout the world. There is nothing like it in Anatomic Pathology to my knowledge.
APECS Value Enhancement
The expanded portfolio of the online Anatomic Pathology Electronic Case Studies (APECS) is designed to provide a measure of individual practice performance mirroring real-life case work-ups with the added benefit of interlaboratory and inter-pathologist benchmarking against peers who have evaluated the same case. This CME/SAM educational program is now approved by the American Board of Pathology to satisfy the Maintenance of Certification part IV requirement for activities in Evaluation of Performance in Practice as well as the part II requirement of Life-Long Learning and Self-Assessment.
This year marks the official founding of the USCAP Foundation, chaired by Jonathan Epstein and Ralph Hruban, as a charitable organization established to further our goals by broadening the base of support from tax-deductible contributions for programs that will benefit the field of anatomic pathology. We are very pleased to share that we have met our goal to raise $50,000 for The Friends of Africa (FOA) - USCAP initiative (under the direction Dr. Adekunle Adisina) which will be matched by the Academy for a total of $100,000. These funds will assist in providing much needed bursaries to facilitate 100 young pathologists from sub-Saharan Africa to attend the International Academy of Pathology Congress in Cape Town in 2012. The major pathology journals are being sent to over 60 medical schools in more than 22 Sub-Saharan African countries as well.
Many other options for philanthropic giving abound that will assist the Academy in continuing and developing professional learning opportunities for USCAP members, pathologists from developing countries and medical students.
Strategic Planning Update
The President's Strategic Planning exercise of this past October, chaired by David Hardwick and facilitated by Jeff Myers, resulted in 5 major strategies (pillars) underscored by numerous proposed tactics. These 5 Task Forces will be chaired by Jeff Myers (innovation and product planning), Jonathan Epstein (philanthropy), Victor Reuter and Stuart Schnitt (organizational committee structure and governance), David Hardwick (Augusta administrative structure and succession) and Stephen Black-Schaffer (resident engagement). In this manner we hope to harness the power of many to test and accomplish these improvements for USCAP.
As I said, it has been a very busy year! I wish you all a very enriched and rewarding meeting. Take advantage of this unique educational home, experience the warm collegiality and camaraderie, glean pearls of diagnostic wisdom from your elders and peers and come back next year, perhaps with your own contributions to this wealth of educational excellence.