Forging a New Path
Points of interest from the 2019 annual meeting of the Association of Pathology Chairs
How can we help undergraduate medical students achieve their potential – in pathology and beyond? Alan Rampy presents an integrated curriculum, tested at his institution, that includes case-based learning, student feedback, and PILLARS: professionalism, inquiry, learning, and leadership through active research and synthesis. Robin LeGallo further explores how to assist a struggling student by identifying the problem and developing a plan that includes deliberate practice, feedback, and self-assessment. How can educators promote success? By giving students permission to change, presenting reasonable challenges, setting an expectation of growth, providing connections to faculty and peers, and offering them choice.
Social Media Strengths
Valerie Fitzhugh recommends using social media platforms for education and interaction – but she warns: follow your institution’s social media policy, don’t use your academic account for private content, remember that everything you post on the Internet is public (even on a private account), and take great care over HIPAA. Don’t post anything that could identify your patient – and don’t post anything you might regret later! With those cautions in mind, pathologists and laboratory medicine professionals can benefit greatly from social media.
The Future of Pathology
Is informatics the future of our discipline? Karen Kaul thinks so – and notes that the conversation is increasingly shifting from “traditional” digital pathology to artificial intelligence (AI). The goal? To make systems foolproof for primary care providers and to encourage them to use laboratory data. Alexis Carter adds that interoperability is the key to widespread adoption, particularly with the rise of AI. Currently, we lack good standards for AI in medicine, but with greater adoption comes greater experience – and pathologists are vital to its continued improvement.
Leading the Way
Pathologists and laboratory medicine professionals interested in leadership roles often find themselves unsure of how to proceed. Pathology’s wide-ranging influence on other medical disciplines makes us ideally positioned for educational leadership – but those opportunities must be made available to those who desire them. Paul Hemmer introduces Schein’s classification of occupational subcultures and suggests that current leaders often adopt the “executive” style, whereas policy-based leadership requires a move toward the “engineer” style and evidence-based leadership mandates the “operator” style.
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.