The Education Committee established the Timely Topics Lecture in 1982 at the suggestion of Dr. Nathan Kaufman. It was initially conceived as a lecture by a prominent individual in the field of pathology to address a “timely topic” but has evolved into a sophisticated presentation, generally by a clinician or researcher, whose integrated relationship with pathology moves the discipline forward with contemporary ideas, innovative methods, and futuristic technology. This lecture is regarded as an honor within the USCAP sphere.
The lecturer should be well recognized and respected within the medical community, in general, and by the pathology community; he/she should be capable of giving a lucid and erudite lecture relating to topics of contemporary interest. The lecture is presented during the Annual Meeting of the Academy.
In 1999, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology chose to honor Dr. Kaufman by renaming this lecture the Nathan Kaufman Timely Topics Lecture. This action was taken in recognition of his distinguished service and invaluable contributions to the Academy, including: prolonged service as first full-time Secretary-Treasurer of USCAP; founding Assistant Editor of Laboratory Investigation and founding Editor of Modern Pathology; institution of the Diagnostic Pathology Course; facilitation of separate incorporation of USCAP and establishment of its Bylaws; formulation of guidelines and procedures for Companion Societies meetings; supervision of lot purchase and construction of a permanent office building for the Academy; establishment of policies and procedures for operations, objectives for educational offerings and terms of reference for the various committees.
H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., M.P.H.
2018 Nathan Kaufman Timely Topics Lecture
Dr. Welch is a general internist and professor of Medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the Geisel School of Medicine. He is also a professor of Public Policy at Dartmouth College and a professor of Business Administration at the Amos Tuck School.
For the 25 years he has been practicing medicine, Dr. Welch has been asking hard questions about his profession. His arguments are frequently counter-intuitive, even heretical, yet have regularly appeared in the country’s most prestigious medical journals — Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute — as well as in op-eds in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.
He is the author of 3 books – each expanding on the argument of the one before it. Should I be tested for cancer? Maybe not and here’s why (2004) deals with the narrow question of early cancer diagnosis. Overdiagnosed: Making people sick in the pursuit of health (2011) expands the discussion to include the early diagnosis of any disorder. His newest book “Less Medicine, More Health – 7 Assumptions that Drive Too Much Medical Care” (2015) expands the discussion explore other ways that too much medical care can cause harm – and is intended to be more approachable for general readers.
Dr. Welch is very much part of the “Dartmouth School” that questions the assumption that more medical care is always better. His research has focused on the assumption as it relates to diagnosis: that the best strategy to keep people healthy is early diagnosis – and the earlier the better. He has delineated the side-effects of this strategy: physicians test too often, treat too aggressively and tell too many people that they are sick. Much of his work has focused on overdiagnosis in cancer screening: in particular, screening for melanoma, thyroid, lung, breast and prostate cancer.