The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology has been the most prestigious provider of continuing medical education (CME) for pathologists globally for more than a century, superbly integrating CME into the process for improving professional practice and patient outcomes by reducing the gap between evidence-based practices and adoption of those practices into clinical care. Although many pathologists do not see patients directly, they unquestionably provide effective patient care. Therefore, while USCAP is not a health care delivery institution, it provides scalpel-edge educational information and the new results of translational research literally as they happen, as well as information and educational activities addressing best practice standards for pathology.
All medical specialties, including pathology, face a common barrier to change: information overload. It is this barrier that USCAP is poised to remove or overcome by its style of educational delivery, directed primarily to pathologists, with secondary influence on clinicians but a direct positive effect on patients. As a member organization (10,000), it is driven to be a prominent solution provider and practice changer in support of members and pathology trainees.
In order to overcome the challenge of information overload, USCAP organizes information in a wide variety of packets or modules that can be assimilated in learning episodes in order to manage contemporary information and “breaking news” in research. For example, over 3,000 abstracts are submitted on diverse pathology topics annually. These are carefully vetted and selected to provide poster sessions or succinct 10-15 minute platform sessions to give learners access to the newest information in aliquots they can digest (usually 1,500 abstracts are selected and divided as posters/platform presentations). In addition, this information is also available online, so that participants can review information or continue to gain new information at home following the Annual Meeting. Furthermore, because the acceptance of an abstract is prestigious and the presentations are excellent opportunities to network, pathologists whose abstracts are accepted are among the most compliant and pliable to change. They develop reverence for USCAP as their career paths are enhanced.
CME is delivered through a variety of mechanisms including posters, platform plenary sessions, short courses, a long course, interactive microscopy courses, stand-alone courses, and online digital assets for delivery on a variety of mobile devices.