College of American Pathologists
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  President’s Desk Column


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More of everything at CAP ’04

June 2004
Mary E. Kass, MD

Until CAP ’03, a lot of pathologists would have said that "quality" professional education had to be hard work, had to wear us out, had to mean grinding our bottoms into our seats and taking notes furiously until our hands cramped up.

Our first independent annual meeting banished that notion and substituted subversive ideas in its place. That a group of pathologists could come together for serious purposes and have a terrific time. That an annual homecoming for pathology could reawaken the inclinations that brought us to choose this specialty in the first place. That pathology with an attitude means pathology with a future that we can shape, promote, and celebrate.

Last year’s meeting may have been a huge success, but this is the CAP. Success isn’t something we rest on; it’s something we build on. Evaluations from participants, faculty, and focus groups framed the planning for CAP ’04. We set out to provide an even finer selection of practical, concrete, and cutting-edge knowledge that could be applied in the laboratory on Monday morning.

This meeting is bigger in every way-more speakers, more options, more space. Yet I worry. Some courses are already closed. So please don’t delay. Open that catalog, select your coursework, sit down with your family to plan some fun in Phoenix, and send in your registration today.

You’ll want to allow adequate time to review the catalog because there’s a lot going on at CAP ’04. Here’s some of what you will find:

  • World-class faculty. Some of the best minds in pathology have agreed to teach, and many will also host roundtable discussions. Come and meet people you’ve read about, people like Michael J. Becich, MD, PhD, Bruce A. Friedman, MD, and Karen L. Kaul, MD, PhD. Your program lists 127 of our brightest lights, people whose work may be cutting edge but whose thinking is grounded in the day-to-day reality of laboratory medicine.
  • More courses. A total of 107 excellent choices.
  • Improved videomicroscopy. Twenty-one hands-on microscope tutorials featuring new projection equipment that will generate beautiful images.
  • More roundtables. A huge draw at CAP ’03; we now have 24 luncheon roundtable options.
  • Full-day sessions. Learn about new developments in molecular pathology and information technology. Find out about advances in transfusion medicine and the science of error prevention.
  • Short courses. New this year, 15 short sessions (90 minutes each) on everything from advocacy to proteomics.
  • Selective registration options and scheduling improvements. We’ve done our best to minimize conflicts between popular offerings. And we can now accommodate those who live nearby and would like to register for just a few sessions.
  • First CAP town meeting. Set aside an hour late Tuesday afternoon for an open give-and-take with your CAP officers.
  • Lively keynote address. For a colorful, humorous, and controversial look at the 2004 election, come see conservative spokeswoman Mary Matalin debate her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville.
  • Free social events Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings. The highlight will be Monday night’s Western Party, with delicious food and dancing.
  • CAP Foundation events to raise money to support research and education. A silent auction, 60/40 raffle, PathPAC reception, fun run, and golf outing are on the list.
  • CAP Partners tours. Don’t overbook and miss out on spectacular tours to enjoy with friends and family: flat-water river rafting, hiking, biking, golf, shopping, museum-hopping, a cooking class, and more.
  • Industry workshops. These breakfast sessions will introduce you to state-of-the-art technology and products.
  • Connection CafĂ© and exhibits. A great place to share a cup of coffee and meet nearly 50 exhibitors.

There are dozens of opportunities to recharge and reconnect at CAP ’04, and I hope you will take advantage of them. Pathologists are the tall trees in medicine; we need to dig deep to nourish our roots. Mini-sabbaticals like this one attend to our intellectual and personal needs. I see them as investments in the quality of energy we bring to our work.

Pathology can be isolating; we spend a lot of time on our own. Our individual paths might appear to be parallel and separate, but with a bit of planning, they can intersect at a vanishing point in Phoenix. As we learned at CAP ’03, when we come to know one another our differences evaporate and our shared purposes emerge in high relief. When we connect in the classroom, at the lunch-hour roundtable, and even on the dance floor, we frame a collective vision for pathology.

CAP ’04 will convene Sept. 19-22 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, a new luxury resort with two 18-hole golf courses, amazing views of the desert, wonderful weather, and the finest amenities. There, we will learn, connect, and lead. We may also dance, do some flat-water rafting, and hike with family and friends through beautiful country. We have a sensational curriculum with a knock-out faculty at a world-class resort. Don’t let this one slip away. Register now. See you then.