Consider Yourself One of the Family
Laboratory medicine has a unique and precious attribute – its warm collegiality
As a science communicator, I love introducing new people to the things I do and the fields I study. That’s true at any level – teaching schoolchildren about DNA, diagramming the components of the cell for aspiring artists, or showing doctoral students just how broad and how fascinating pathology and laboratory medicine can be. Recently, I attended a science fiction convention to talk about how the human body has evolved over time; I gave a talk on science and medical writing to a group of postgraduate communications students; and I hosted a workshop on scientific and medical realism for novelists.
And, best of all, I traveled to one of the year’s largest pathology conferences with my colleague, Luke Turner, whose name you will have spotted on several of our recent articles. What particularly warmed my heart was seeing how pathologists and laboratory medicine scientists welcomed Luke and how eager they were to tell him about their research, their clinical work, their subspecialty interests. Indeed, many people in attendance had never met either one of us before, yet they welcomed us as part of the community.
And “community” is not a word I chose lightly. Over the course of the conference, I watched old friends greet one another and sit down for a shared meal. I saw junior pathologists consulting on cases with emeritus professors from institutions thousands of miles away. I saw students learning about careers in everything from molecular pathology to medical laboratory science – often from people who may, in a few years’ time, become their colleagues or even their employers.
In my line of work, I have many questions for laboratory medicine professionals. In fact, I often use this page of the magazine to ask them. But today, I just want to say congratulations – and thank you. Congratulations on creating a warm and welcoming community, both online and in person. Congratulations on working so hard to bring new and aspiring colleagues into the fold. And thank you for numbering all of us at The Pathologist among you.
While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.