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Linda Fildey

Over the past thirteen years, I’ve had the privilege of working with pathologists collaboratively, whether it be project managing our Digital Pathology Center of Excellence with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust or creating educational resources with industry leaders as part of our Thought Leadership initiatives. I’ve always been welcomed by this community of experts and encouraged to participate in industry discussions. I know the value of pathologists sharing their digital pathology expertise and learnings with one another. Unfortunately, not everyone in the pathology community can attend live events to network and ask questions. I wanted to bridge the gap between the experts who had the benefit of implementing digital pathology and those that wanted to learn. Luckily, I have an amazing role at Leica Biosystems, which offered me the opportunity to spearhead this initiative.

I sought the guidance of six pathologists from around the world, who later formed our Charter Group. We brainstormed ways to share knowledge in a safe, non-commercial space. Together, we created Digital Pathology Connections (DPC), a private LinkedIn group with three clear differentiators from other online groups: dedicated experts, focused conversations, and a global reach. 

Pathologists who are at the start of their digital journey can now connect with those further along the path. Developed and developing countries can learn from one another. Academic centers can share knowledge with private provider practices. A collaborative community allows everyone to share the challenges and frustrations that come with implementing new systems. The goal is not to promote products and services but to accelerate the industry’s adoption of digital pathology through educational resources. 

We launched DPC at Path Visions 2022 to very enthusiastic attendees. DPC has over 400 members, and over 75 percent are pathologists. We choose weekly hosts to lead hot topics in the industry, and members chime in with questions and comments. We’ve discussed barriers to adoption, justifying a digital pathology system, IT alignment, storage requirements, and much more. We’ve also held exclusive DPC member events, including live panels with key leaders in the industry. 

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