American Board of Pathology names new EVP
The American Board of Pathology recently announced its selection
of a new executive vice president, Betsy D. Bennett, MD, PhD, to
replace the retiring William H. Hartmann, MD. In her new role, Dr.
Bennett will oversee the ABP as its top executive and administrator.
Dr. Bennett assumes her new responsibilities Nov. 1. She is currently vice dean
for student affairs and medical education and university distinguished
professor of pathology at the University of South Alabama College
of Medicine, Mobile.
“I’m very excited about the position. It’s a wonderful opportunity
to be involved in a variety of activities related to the education
and training of pathologists,” Dr. Bennett says.
Dr. Hartmann held the executive vice president post for 11 years. He first announced
his retirement four years ago, he says.
“When I announced my retirement, it didn’t seem to attract too much
attention,” Dr. Hartmann says. “Very few candidates
came forward at that time, so I withdrew my retirement. A year ago
last May, I wrote a poem called ‘It’s Time To Go.’”
Dr. Hartmann attributes the initial lack of interest to the job’s demands.
He calls it a “full-time and a half” position.
Dr. Bennett, however, is ready for the challenge. She describes the position
as a natural extension of her current academic administrative responsibilities
and looks forward to returning to her roots in pathology. “A
few people whose opinions I respect suggested I might want to look
at this position based on my previous experience,” she says.
“While I have not been totally out of pathology, I’ve
really missed my involvement in pathology. The idea of going back
to it, particularly in that role, was very attractive to me.”
The ABP’s primary function is to provide certification to pathologists, determine
competency criteria for pathologists, and help set criteria for
pathology residency programs. The executive vice president works
closely with other directors of the member boards of the American
Board of Medical Specialties. One of Dr. Bennett’s first priorities
will be to develop a maintenance-of-certification process and examination
for pathologists to renew their certification.
“Demonstration of competence is always a hot issue with training,” she says.
“That is, how do you ensure the test is appropriate for all
pathologists and as fair as possible for everyone who has to take
Stephen Allen, MD, ABP president and a member of the executive vice president search
committee, says Dr. Bennett was selected because of her experience
in pathology education and in administrative and leadership roles.
“She has an outstanding background and interest in graduate medical education
with experience at the national level,” says Dr. Allen, professor
of pathology and laboratory medicine at Indiana University School
of Medicine, Indianapolis. “She has a good working knowledge
of the ways in which the ABP interacts with its cooperating societies,
and she’s a good communicator, articulate, a tactful facilitator,
and a consensus builder.”
Dr. Bennett has held her distinguished professor appointment since 1995. She
was named vice dean for student affairs and medical education in
1999. Before joining the University of South Alabama faculty in
1981, she was an assistant professor and director of clinical chemistry
at Vanderbilt University/Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Dr. Bennett has a broad background in test development. She has served as a
member of the ABP’s Test Development and Advisory Committee
for Chemical Pathology and chaired several U.S. medical licensing
She received her medical and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt University School
Dr. Hartmann has mixed emotions about leaving the organization he has led since
1993. He says he’s considering a few proposals but mostly
looking forward to focusing on hobbies like fishing and woodworking,
and doing “damn little.”
“I’m not really sure what I’ll do,” he says. “I have
another poem about that.”
Ruth Mack is a writer in Hoboken, NJ.