With more challenges to our profession from new technologies (machine vision, circulating DNA, in vivo microscopy) along with decreased reimbursement, we need to ensure that we stay relevant to clinical medicine.
Our various societies are led by smart and driven people who understand this need, now more than ever. However it seems to me that we have too many societies which duplicate each other’s efforts and weaken our overall capacity to advocate.
In particular, I would propose merging the 3 big societies of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). I understand that the USCAP has more of an academic bent, the CAP’s emphasis is on professional advocacy for pathologists, and the ASCP caters more to laboratory medicine. However, I believe that these different functions can be combined together into one professional organization for pathology professionals in the United States.
Supporting this proposal is the existence of overlap in the functions of these different organizations, especially in the realms of research and education. At the same time since the different groups cater to different elements of our profession (e.g. USCAP to those in academic practice, CAP to community/private practice, and ASCP to laboratory medicine professionals and technologists), it weakens our ability to make decisions as a cohesive unit.
In a previous era, a plethora of various societies with different leadership and political aims worked fine. But in today’s cost-conscious environment, every time I am separately asked for membership fees to the three above organizations, I cannot help but wonder if we are diluting ourselves to the point of irrelevance.
[Photo courtesy of http://www.wikiwand.com/fr/Dilution]