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Outside the Lab Profession

Inclusion Inroads

At the end of 2022, we wrapped up an outstanding year for ASCP. Not only did we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, we also concluded what was undeniably one of the most exciting years we’ve had as a society. Our members continued to endeavor, create, innovate, and lead through the ever-changing landscape of healthcare, solidifying the role of pathology and laboratory medicine as leaders.

All that we accomplished in the past year has set us up to make strides in the coming year, and that momentum will be necessary as we make inroads into the issues we face in pathology and laboratory medicine. A continued press on fostering environments that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion is imperative in order to create a workforce that better represents the populations we serve, as well as imbue within the profession diversity of thought, experience, and insight.

As the healthcare professionals involved in just about every patient’s healthcare journey, pathologists and medical laboratory scientists have a responsibility to understand what patients need not only in their own country or region, but around the world. Strengthening the global presence and influence of the laboratory in the coming year is essential in helping lower- and lower-middle-income countries provide the high-quality care they need.

Although it is often said that the COVID-19 pandemic catapulted the laboratory into the spotlight, we can’t let it end there. The visibility of the laboratory – the hub of healthcare from which all other patient care stems – can’t be raised enough, and there is no limit to how high we can lift it up. Keeping the laboratory in the spotlight it has long deserved is a constant exercise, and one we cannot let lag.

These are not easy tasks we’ve set for ourselves, yet there is no doubt that we are up to the challenge, particularly when so much is at stake. Do we slow our pace when patient lives are on the line? Do we cede control to others within healthcare when the knowledge we have, and the laboratory provides, is what informs high-quality care? To do either of these things would be detrimental for the members of the laboratory team just as much as it would be for patient health and safety. Recognizing that the laboratory is in a unique position to tackle issues we face within the profession and in healthcare overall, and ultimately affect change worldwide – this is a torch we gladly carry.

We can’t know the future, but we can certainly shape it. Understanding what pathology and laboratory medicine need to continue providing high-quality care for patients means looking at where we currently stand – and then taking the necessary steps and leaps forward to advance the profession and advance patient care. As we dive deeper into 2023, we must be resilient, we must be confident, and most importantly, we must be bold, to continue being the healthcare leaders we are.  

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About the Author
E. Blair Holladay

CEO of the American Society for Clinical Pathology

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