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Outside the Lab Profession

A Century of Excellence

In 1922, at the American Medical Association (AMA) meeting in St. Louis, a group of 39 physicians established what would become the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Fourteen years later, ASCP pathologists worked with the AMA to create the American Board of Pathology to offer certification in anatomic and clinical pathology. You must expect that, when these physicians collaborated to establish the structure of modern pathology and laboratory medicine, they knew they were changing the way medicine was practiced. Did they understand, however, just how intrinsically they would reshape the way patient care is delivered?

In the past century, innovations in medicine have changed the way we provide treatment and care for our patients. Diseases that once ravaged populations are now nearly, if not completely, eradicated. The way we provide care has shifted, putting the patient at the center and collaborating across multidisciplinary teams to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time. In the past 100 years, we have reached well beyond our own borders and improved patient care in the farthest corners of the world, because we have learned that global health is local health. High-quality patient care does not end in our own backyards. Rather, providing that care to the areas that need it most strengthens and supports healthcare overall.

ASCP is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. For our organization to reach such a milestone brings us an incredible feeling of pride in our achievements and hope for the discoveries yet to come. Throughout this year, we are celebrating the century of innovation, education, advocacy, and research our members have accomplished. Medical discoveries in pathology and laboratory medicine have changed the face of medicine over the past 100 years and there is no doubt that continued research and practice will further that change. In more recent decades, the amount of transformation the laboratory has experienced feels almost like we are just getting started – but, knowing our history and the dedication and determination of the pathologists and medical laboratory scientists who came before us, we understand that we are building on the solid foundation that was laid for us.

As we move into the next century of ASCP’s history, we do so knowing the challenges in front of us: raising the laboratory’s visibility so that patients and other healthcare providers understand the critical knowledge we provide; continued advocacy on behalf of our patients and members to create a better working community for the lab; and developing a pipeline of future pathologists and medical laboratory scientists to continue providing high-quality care for patients, as well as continuing to search paths of discovery in medicine.

We are excited to celebrate our 100-year anniversary and we hope you will join us throughout this year, but especially in Chicago at the ASCP Annual Meeting from September 7–9. Without our members and others within the laboratory community, the past 100 years of growth and advancement in pathology and laboratory medicine would not have been possible – and that is truly something to celebrate.

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About the Author
E. Blair Holladay

CEO of the American Society for Clinical Pathology

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