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Inside the Lab Profession, Training and education, Laboratory management

The Times They Are A-Changin’

This month saw the Nobel Prize in literature surprisingly (to most) awarded to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. He becomes the first musician to win the award, and is probably the most radical choice in the accolade’s history. The news was greeted with congratulations and praise by some, but criticism (some pretty extreme) from others. As you’d expect, social media was alight with comments: “I’m happy for Bob Dylan, #ButDoesThisMeanICanWinAGrammy?” quipped a best-selling novelist, Jodi Picoult. “Bob Dylan winning a Nobel in Literature is like Mrs Fields being awarded 3 Michelin stars,” the novelist Rabih Alameddine wrote – Mrs Fields being a huge retail cookie brand in the US, so certainly not meant as a compliment.

What really struck me about the news (and this may be owing to my ignorance so please try not to judge me too harshly) was this: as well as the unusual choice, it was the high-profile nature of the recipient. More often than not, Nobel Prize winners tend to be fairly low-profile (at least that’s my understanding). And isn’t that one of the best things about the award – that it recognizes widely unrecognized brilliance?

As you know, pathology is sadly a profession whose value is not widely perceived, and the people within it don’t tend to receive public accolades for their hard work. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Remember The Pathologist’s cover feature a couple of years back on pathology stereotypes (1)? And the image of the eyes lurking from behind a basement door? Guess what? A lot of people think that comical depiction is true – that pathologists are basement-dwelling, corpse-handling non-doctors! You and I know that’s not true. And it’s at this time of year that we like to recognize the amazing work you do. With that, I’m pleased to announce nominations for The Pathologist’s 2016 Power List are now open.

Last year, we asked you to put forward your most inspirational role models (2). This time, we’re taking a different approach. We want you to nominate people in training or the early stages of their careers: the “rising stars” of pathology and lab medicine. I am personally inviting you to help give your profession and its amazing people the recognition they deserve. Are you with me?

The process is simple: go to our short online form (http://tp.txp.to/powerlist_form) and tell us whom you would like to nominate and why. The nominees will be judged by an independent panel of experts and the results announced in our December issue.

Let’s crush those stereotypes together and show the world just how great pathology is. As Dylan beautifully wrote, “The times they are a-changin’.” Let’s change them together.

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  1. M Schubert, “The Last Respite of the Socially Inept?”, The Pathologist, 3, 18–25 (2014).
  2. “The 2015 Power List”, The Pathologist, 13, 19–35 (2015).
About the Author
Fedra Pavlou

After graduating with a pharmacology degree, I began my career in scientific publishing and communications. Now with more than 16 years of experience in this field, my career has seen me heading up editorial and writing teams at Datamonitor, Advanstar and KnowledgePoint360 group. My past experiences have taught me something very important – that you have to enjoy working with, and have respect for your colleagues. It’s this that drew me to Texere where I now work with old colleagues and new. Though we are a hugely diverse team, we share several things in common – a real desire to work hard to succeed, to be the best at what we do, never to settle for second best, and to have fun while we do it. I am now honored to serve as Editor of The Pathologist and Editorial Director of Texere Publishing.

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