College of American Pathologists

  CAP Fact Sheet

325 Waukegan Road
Northfield, IL
Fax: 847-832-8000
Division of Advocacy
1350 I Street NW,
Suite 590
Washington, DC
Fax: 202-354-7155

Officers of the College:

  • Charles Roussel, Chief Executive Officer
  • Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP, President
  • Richard C. Friedberg, MD, PhD, FCAP, President-Elect
  • Paul N. Valenstein, MD, FCAP, Secretary-Treasurer

With more than 18,000 members, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and pathologists-in-training.

Accredited Laboratories:
More than 7,600.

Subscribers enrolled in CAP Proficiency Testing Programs:
More than 20,000 laboratories

An Overview

Headquartered just north of Chicago with a satellite office in Washington, DC, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) is an international organization comprised of more than 18,000 board-certified pathologists, serving patients, pathologists, and the public through membership, learning, advocacy, laboratory accreditation, and laboratory proficiency testing (PT) programs and services.

CAP members are physicians who use laboratory medicine and technology to identify and diagnose disease and work with other specialists and physicians to guide treatment for patients. As disease detectives and clinical partners, CAP members initiate the use of new laboratory tools to detect and treat public health threats and are leaders in the areas of genomic medicine and clinical informatics. They are involved in a broad range of disciplines, including surgical pathology, cytopathology, dermatopathology, neuropathology, forensic pathology, blood banking/transfusion medicine, clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunopathology, and hematology.

A leader in laboratory improvement programs for more than 65 years, the CAP currently has customers in more than 100 countries, accrediting 7,600 laboratories and providing proficiency testing to 20,000 laboratories worldwide.

The CAP offers a wide range of career opportunities that allow employees to build on past achievements while fulfilling a critical role in enhancing patient care. Recognized by the Chicago Tribune in its Top Workplaces special section as well as Becker’s Healthcare in its Great Places to Work in Healthcare publication, College employees share a strong sense of the CAP mission; these high-caliber professionals create a culture of performance and collaboration and are dedicated to quality in laboratory medicine and clinical outcome.

CAP Laboratory Improvement Program

The CAP Laboratory Improvement Program provides a comprehensive view of the laboratory quality process with insight, knowledge, and peer-based educational coaching. Backed by the scientific expertise and commitment of the world’s largest board-certified pathologist organization, the CAP partnership fosters collaboration and builds confidence that laboratories deliver the most reliable test results to assure accurate patient diagnoses.

The program helps participants to achieve comprehensive assessment across their entire test menu. With more than 600 choices, CAP’s Proficiency Testing (PT)/External Quality Assurance is the largest laboratory peer-comparison program in the world. The program allows laboratories to evaluate their performance regularly and improve the accuracy of the patient results they provide. Through these programs, CAP provides individual laboratories with unknown specimens for testing. The participants analyze the specimens and return the results to CAP for evaluation. In turn, each participating laboratory receives a report of its performance as well as a report summarizing the results of all participating laboratories.

In addition, CAP’s comprehensive collection of Quality Management Tools strengthens a laboratory’s knowledge of key laboratory processes, identifies quality improvement opportunities, and provides the information needed for effective laboratory management. The Quality Management Tools help laboratories deliver quality patient care and satisfy accreditation requirements and patient safety goals.

Finally, worldwide the CAP accredits more than 7600 laboratories, including mostly hospitals as well as commercial laboratories, contract research organizations, and biorepositories, with growth outside of the United States accelerating. The goal of the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is to improve patient safety by advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services through education, standard setting, and ensuring laboratories meet or exceed regulatory requirements. The program incorporates the most stringent requirements while also providing laboratories the road map and tools to achieve these requirements bringing value to patients, physicians, and providers.

CAP Guidelines

The CAP Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center (the Center), along with professional partners, is advancing the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine by bringing evidence-based medicine and consensus recommendations to the forefront of clinical decision making. The CAP guidelines help pathologists and other clinicians:

  • Make more informed decisions about diagnosis and optimal treatment, and
  • Place emphasis on the pathologist’s role at the center of patient care.

Adopting these guidelines helps pathologists and laboratory professionals to provide more effective testing, consistent and high-quality results, and expert interpretations. The CAP guidelines are updated on a regular interval and are freely available. To view published guidelines, visit CAP Guidelines on

CAP Policy Roundtable

The Policy Roundtable (PRT) is charged with increasing the visibility of the CAP in the public policy arena and elevating the CAP’s role in the development of public policies that will shape the future of pathology. The PRT develops an agenda for public policy research and public policy positions that support the practice of pathology; conducts policy research that supports the CAP’s mission and fills gaps in its policy portfolio; and develops white papers and publications as it identifies and develops relevant policy issues.


The CAP is pathology’s most effective legislative and regulatory advocate on Capitol Hill. With an office in Washington, DC, since 1970, the CAP ensures pathologists have a strong voice in our nation’s capital. Since health care reform has introduced an array of long- and short-term changes in health care delivery and payment, the CAP has a “now and future” policy agenda that presses forward on today’ issues while ensuring the role of pathologists in the future

The CAP represents pathologists in national health care discussions by maintaining critical relationships with members of Congress, policymakers, and key national health care organizations. These relationships are strengthened through active participation in multi-stakeholder coalitions and public-private partnerships—addressing current and future practice concerns; quality measurement and reporting, compliance; contractual agreements; physician payment; regulatory and oversight initiatives; innovation and technology; practice characteristics; and payer issues.

The CAP’s work with Congress and various federal regulatory agencies helps policy makers recognize the benefits to having pathologists consult with patients and other physicians on medical test selection, disease diagnosis and patient treatment. We also advocate maintaining the highest level of medical laboratory safety while ensuring regulations are not over-reaching, compliance is not overly burdensome, and equitable treatment for pathologists exists in physician payment regulations.

On the state level, the CAP represents the interests of pathologists by actively working with state pathology societies. Over the last eight years, the CAP has undertaken substantial legislative and regulatory advocacy in more than three dozen states, helping craft laws and regulations that help protect the profession against economic and practice challenges. Indeed, the CAP, partnering with state pathology societies, has been successful in advocating enactment of direct billing requirements in 14 states since 2003.

PathPAC, the CAP’s political action committee, pools voluntary contributions of pathologists across the country to support candidates for elected office who demonstrate their responsiveness to the concerns of our profession.

The Pathology Advocacy Network (PathNET), our grassroots program for members, facilitates the building of personal relationships between pathologists and Congress.

The CAP’s annual policy meeting and national lobby day in the spring has become a premier event for CAP members to actively participate in grassroots advocacy efforts and speak directly with top policymakers, including their Congressional representatives. The CAP 2014 Policy Meeting will be held May 5–7 in Washington, DC.

The College’s Advocacy office—by making the voices of our members and the profession heard—continues to build new relationships and strengthen existing partnerships in the public and private sectors, on both the state and national level, with the key decision makers to shape the present and future of pathology.

CAP Learning

The CAP is the leading resource for information and education in the practice and science of pathology and laboratory medicine. Leading experts develop education activities focused on all six Maintenance of Certification competency categories, including emerging scientific and technical knowledge and laboratory and practice management. The curriculum of more than 300 courses offers pathologists and laboratory professionals with practical tools and resources to:

  • Continually improve their scientific and practice skills
  • Meet licensure and re-certification requirements
  • Prepare for new and enhanced roles

The CAP Learning Portal is a comprehensive tool for continuing education. A central feature of the Learning Portal—the Personal Progress Check—allows pathologists to compare their current level of expertise against a range of competencies. Pathologists can develop a personalized Learning Plan to address identified areas for improvement, then search a list of more than 700 Learning Options and quickly locate specific resources to address their educational needs.

Many of the resources on the Learning Portal are offered by organizations other than CAP, including a growing list of cooperating societies who contribute their considerable expertise. Since its launch, the Learning Portal has seen rapid adoption with more than 30,000 unique users, comprising pathologists, as well as laboratorians.

Over the past few years, the College has launched several new programs that build and maintain the competencies of pathologists and laboratory professionals. The CAP Advanced Practical Pathology Programs (AP3s,) allow pathologists to demonstrate special knowledge and skill in select practice areas. The College also offers an expanding menu of self-assessment modules (SAMs) to help ABP diplomates meet MOC requirements.

The online Competency Assessment Program helps laboratories meet CLIA and laboratory accreditation program requirements for competency assessment and training of laboratory professionals through convenient online courses. The program is comprehensive, allowing laboratories to choose from dozens of CE courses in 11 disciplines.

The program provides training in more than 100 instrument-specific observation checklists. Individual laboratories can tailor the courses and checklists to fit their laboratory. We’ve recently added Safety & Compliance Courses package, which includes seven courses on safety and OSHA standards for annual laboratory compliance training.

Education courses are available in a variety of engaging and interactive formats, including live workshops, online courses, audio and Web conferences, and journal-based programs. CAP Learning is also responsible for developing and coordinating more than 90 courses at the College’s annual meeting.

House of Delegates

The House of Delegates serves the College and the profession of pathology by acting as the Voice of the membership identifying and discussing the most important issues facing CAP members and the future of the profession. House members meet twice per year to hear what the College is doing to help them address important issues and learn what they can do to survive in today’s health care environment. In addition, the House of Delegates provides a gateway to leadership within the College. Membership of most CAP Councils, Commissions, and Committees include CAP Fellows who are active in the CAP House of Delegates. The House is an important vehicle for letting College leadership know what CAP members need and how well the College is doing at meeting their needs. The HOD Topic Center is our online one stop shop for all HOD News, events, and reports.

Residents Forum

The CAP Residents Forum was established to provide residents with a voice in organized pathology and networking opportunities, as well as to identify future leaders in pathology. The Residents Forum continues to be the largest and most successful organization for medical residents in the country. Residents Forum members meet twice per year to discuss issues of special concern to pathology resident physicians. In addition, membership of most CAP councils, commissions, and committees include Junior Members who are active in Residents Forum.

CAP Foundation

As the philanthropic arm of the College, the CAP Foundation champions patient-centered and humanitarian roles for pathologists, striving to connect people, especially those in need, to the specialized, life–saving skills of pathologists. Since its inception in 1963, the CAP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has proudly granted millions of dollars to support pathology education, research, and humanitarian programs.

See, Test & Treat® is the Foundation’s flagship humanitarian program. Through the See, Test & Treat program grants:

  • CAP member pathologists volunteer to lead coordination and delivery of free, same-day cervical and breast cancer screening for vulnerable women across the US, women with limited or no access to preventive health care.
  • The Foundation will fund at least four such screenings this year.
  • See, Test & Treat screenings are a proven, excellent example of the pathologist’s valuable role in increasingly coordinated, integrated models of care.

In 2012, the CAP Foundation launched the annual Gene and Jean Herbek Humanitarian Award, which provides a $25,000 grant to a CAP Fellow who demonstrates leadership in a See, Test & Treat program. The award was named for See, Test & Treat program founder Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP, and his wife, Jean, who shares his commitment to this initiative. The first award recognized Bradley M. Linzie, MD, FCAP, who has organized and delivered seven annual programs at the NorthPoint Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Linzie applied his grant to purchase a high-definition camera and monitor, which he uses to educate vulnerable communities on the importance of cancer screening. The Foundation will present the second Herbek Humanitarian Award at CAP '13, October 13-16 in Orlando, Florida.

In addition to See, Test & Treat, the CAP Foundation funds notable grants and awards through which significant strides in pathology and patient care emerge. These include the Leadership Development Award, the John H. Rippey Grant for Laboratory Quality Assurance, and the Translational Diagnostics Advanced Training Award.

The CAP Foundation relies on the generous financial support of CAP members, staff, industry, and patient advocacy groups. For more information on making a tax-deductible contribution or applying for a grant or award, visit , or call 800-323-4040 ext. 7846 or email

The CAP Online Career Center

The CAP Online Career Center (OCC) is an ideal resource for any pathologist seeking a position or for employers/recruiters seeking job candidates for pathology positions. This valuable service is available free of charge to pathologists seeking positions. A charge applies for placing an advertisement. Sign up at or call 888–884–8242. The OCC also offers timely career development resources such as online articles, books, Web links, and downloadable presentations.

Official Publications

CAP TODAY, the College’s monthly news magazine, enjoys the highest readership among all laboratory publications. Each issue reports medical, industry, and business news to more than 50,000 laboratory professionals. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine is the College’s award-winning, peer-reviewed, scientific journal giving editorial focus to the introduction and evaluation of new knowledge and technology. STATLINE is a biweekly electronic newsletter designed to keep members informed of new legislative and regulatory developments as they happen, serving as the first word on the public policy issues facing our members. CAP news also is delivered via Twitter—CAPathologists (@pathologists).

The CAP offers a website for patients, The site provides accurate and credible information on more than 50 of the most common cancers and cancer related conditions, including breast, colon, lung, and skin. explains the role of the pathologist in cancer diagnosis and includes lists of available treatment options, a glossary of key terms, and pictures of normal and diseased tissues, among other features. Visitors to the site also will find survivor stories, tips on how to read a pathology report, and recent cancer news.