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Outside the Lab Profession

Team Laboratory

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The ‘better together’ approach has proven itself time and again – and the world of laboratory medicine is no different. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) is committed to progression through partnership. Here, seven special task forces describe their focus, discuss what further challenges must be addressed to achieve ambitious goals, and highlight how those issues are likely to affect you – the pathology community.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. It’s such a simple statement and yet such a powerful concept from Helen Keller, whose philanthropic achievements truly demonstrated the strength of unity. In pathology, you face many challenges on a daily basis – from meeting accreditation obligations to keeping up to date on the optimum procedures; delivering the best possible result doesn’t always come easily. Working in collaboration with others who share the same goal is not just beneficial, it’s a necessity.

Whatever the specialty, international societies are formed with this same ethos in mind: progression through partnership. But I believe there are three key factors that differentiate societies and their level of success: 1) the ability to attract proactive individuals; 2) the strength of the partnerships formed; and 3) the ability to promote themselves and their work.

One particular society – the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) – stands out from the crowd. Why? Perhaps because IFCC’s spokespeople take every opportunity to command symposium airtime – to let people know what they’re doing and to rally international support. IFCC has set up ‘task forces’ – international groups of multi-disciplinary teams formed in response to issues raised by its members as being of “international significance”. Though that may sound vague, IFCC’s task forces are gathering quite a following and, as a result, they’ve been able to make progress that could have some impact on your work, if not now, then perhaps in the future. Tackling issues such as the lack of standardization in chronic kidney disease and thyroid function testing, through to assessing the impact of lab medicine on clinical outcomes to better promote what you do to the wider community – there’s no doubt that the aims of some of these groups will strike a chord.

We spoke with task force chairs and IFCC President Graham Beastall, to find out more:

The IFCC Vision, an interview with Graham Beastall
What About POCT?, by Rosy Tirimacco
Supporting Tomorrow’s Leaders, by Pradeep Kumar Dabla
The Undisputable Value of Pharmacogenetic Testing, by Ron H. van Schaik
Striving for Global Excellence in Chronic Kidney Disease Testing, by Howard Morris
How Clinically Useful Are Bone Turnover Markers? by Howard Morris
Time to Standardize Thyroid Function Testing, by Linda Thienpont and Katleen van Uytfanghe
Proving Our Worth, by Mike Hallworth

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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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