President's Report 2011
John P. Veinot M.D. FRCPC
I would like to thank the members of the society for the opportunity given to me to serve as the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology’s next president. I also thank Dr. Fishbein for his hard work during his term. When I look at the list of previous presidents, I am humbled, and very grateful for the opportunity to serve the society and its members. We have an excellent society. We provide an outstanding opportunity for social and academic interaction. We have exemplary educational sessions that occur on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. This year the Saturday session dealing with industry, law, and regulatory bodies was another excellent session, as was the Sunday session on genetic disorders; both timely and informative. I thank Dr. Mitchell for the considerable work that he has put into organizing these events.
We are also privileged to award the Distinguished Achievement award to Dr. Gaetano Thiene. His talk on arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy was very well received. As with all of our previous Distinguished Achievement awardees, these investigators bring and share with us a wealth of knowledge and they inspire us.
We have had fruitful ongoing collaborations between our Society and the Association of European Cardiovascular Pathologists. We have published an excellent document on training requirements in Cardiovascular Pathology. Our document on standards for surgical pathology grossing has been accepted in the journal Cardiovascular Pathology. We have an ongoing collaboration on a document concerning endomyocardial biopsy. These documents are a team effort and I am confident that these collaborations will continue.
Our journal continues to improve. Avrum and Jagdish have done a great job and we also thank Elsevier for their support. Dr. Buja has been selected as the next editor. A magnificent choice. The transition will occur this year and we all look forward to working with him.
This year cardiovascular pathology triumphantly returned to present a session at the American Heart Association. Our session on endomyocardial biopsy pathology was well received, well attended and featured in the media coverage of the meeting. We also co-sponsored a session at the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), and have another planned for this year. Several of our members attended the biannual meeting of the Association of European Cardiovascular Pathology in Lisbon. I was honoured to give a presentation on the Future of Cardiovascular Pathology.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize that we have considerable challenges. Our membership remains stable, but we need growth. We, like many areas of pathology, suffer with a visibility issue and perhaps perceived relevance. We need to address these important issues by expanding our scope, building upon our strengths and educating. Financially we are in good shape, but I am concerned about sustainability and would like to ensure a more predictable, ongoing source of funds. I also believe that we should explore using our funds in more innovative ways to attract new members to our specialty or to enhance the membership experience of our current members. We need to think outside the paraffin block and strive for ongoing interactions to be a year round Society, rather than just our yearly meeting. As we plan for the future this will be achievable.
Our future may include developing several areas:
- Digital pathology for education, training, and collaboration; harness telemedicine experience in our own jurisdictions
- Development of quality standards for our practice; discussions on “lessons learned”
- Outreach to other pathology societies (such as paediatrics, infectious diseases, forensics, renal and lung), residents, and also to other clinicians, scientists and industry with cardiovascular disease interests
- Personalized and translational medicine- the challenge of professional overlap, and the development of standards and guidelines for test utilization
I would propose we address these challenges in the following ways:
- Formation of an education committee
Education is a vital part of our mission. This committee would plan and strategize our academic mandate and participation in educational activities. These would include, but not be limited to, planning of the Saturday and Sunday educational sessions, thought of an ongoing curriculum to be covered, short course planning, consensus document planning, development of “how to” sessions, and web-based educational projects.
- Formation of a fund-raising working group
This committee would liaise with the Finance committee. It would investigate and develop an approach for sustainable and predictable funding for our Society projects.
Such a committee is very relevant today with an enhanced scrutiny of our interactions with industry and the existence of many policies for relations with industry.
- Investigation of the utilization of our finances
The Finance committee could liaise with the membership committee to explore the possibilities of scholarships for residents, funding of educational courses, and exploration of how we can improve our membership benefits for existing members
- Outreach, collaboration and recruitment
Continued and improved liaisons with other cardiovascular pathology societies, including the Association of European Cardiovascular Pathologist. We should be thinking globally in this regard. We should strive to ensure that our Society reflects an international presence on its Executive Board.
These initiatives will not occur overnight but I believe we need to begin somewhere.
By building on our strengths we can increase our visibility and improve on our perceived relevance. We have a great subspecialty, but in some ways it remains our own secret. Cardiovascular pathology is an important part of medicine and we need to be collaborative and patient centered. If we are able to engage new members by demonstrating our passion for learning, new technology, clinical involvement, and collaboration, then I believe we have a long and healthy future.
John P. Veinot MD, FRCPC
President, Society for Cardiovascular Pathology