Vol 60 No 1 2020

Page 1 

Dietmar Schmidt, IAP President

President's Report

Dear Members:

Since I took office as president of IAP in 2018, I had the opportunity to attend several congresses of our divisions and assemblies in the United States, Pakistan, China and Cuba. Moreover, I participated in a site visit to the Convention Center and surrounding hotels in Cancun, Mexico which had been elected in Amman, Jordan in October 2018 as venue of our Biannual Congress in 2024. All meetings clearly showed that our divisions are highly active and IAP as a worldwide network of divisions and assemblies is making further progress in development of education in pathology.

The members of the international organizing committee, the education committee, the finance committee, and the executive committee met at USCAP in National Harbor/Virginia in March 2019. As usual, this USCAP Congress 2019 was a very successful meeting attended by a large number of participants from many different countries. 

At the 31st Congress of the European Society of Pathology (ESP) in Nice, Prof. Jane Dahlstrom organized an educational session together with Prof. Ales Ryska, President-elect of the ESP. The topic was: “The case I will never forget”. 

All speakers were excellent, and the session was very well attended. I would like to emphasize the excellent and harmonious cooperation existing between the International Academy of Pathology and the European Society of Pathology. The next chance to watch this close cooperation will be the joint Congress of IAP and ESP in Glasgow/Scotland next year. Members of both societies are cordially invited to attend this exciting meeting from August 29 to September 2, 2020.

On September 21, 2019 I had a chance to participate in the 2nd Cytopathology Meeting of the Pakistan Division organized by Prof. Shahid Pervez from Karachi and Dr. Asif Loya from Lahore in the Pearl Continental Hotel in Lahore/Pakistan. The title was: “A practical approach to diagnostic issues”. 

From left to right: Jane Dahlstrom, Cord Langner, Stefan Ihrler, Fiona Maclean, Inny Busmanis, Ales Ryska
From left to right: Dietmar Schmidt, Ambrogio Fassina, Shahid Pervez 

Together with Prof. Ambrogio Fassina from Padova/Italy we gave six presentations in this 1-day congress on cytopathology. The topics were gynecological cytopathology and cytopathology of effusions including molecular studies. The program also included talks from several local speakers. The meeting was well attended with an impressive majority of female pathologists from all parts of Pakistan. 

After the meeting, we were kindly invited by Dr. Asif Loya, Medical Director of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Center, to visit the hospital. Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) is a state-of-the-art cancer center. It is a project of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, which is a charitable organization. The institution is the brainchild of the President of Pakistan and cricket superstar, Imran Khan. The inspiration of founding the hospital came after the death of his mother, Mrs. Shaukat Khanum, from cancer.

What impressed us most is the fact that Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Center offers cutting-edge healthcare facilities free of cost to cancer patients. 75 % of the cancer patients receive financially supported treatment. It is primarily through donations which enable the hospital to provide free cancer treatment to thousands of deserving cancer patients each year. 

The visit to Lahore was followed by a 3-day trip to Swat Valley and a short stay in the green city of Islamabad. 

The 11th Asia Pacific IAP Congress was held in Fengda International Hotel, Hefei/Anhui Province, China, from October 11 – 14, 2019. Chair of the Organizing Committee and President of the Chinese Division of the IAP is Prof. Xiu-Wu Bian, Chongqing, and the General Secretary is Prof. Jing Zhang, Seattle. I had the opportunity to participate as Co-Chairman and as speaker in the cytopathology session. All the organizers ought to be congratulated for this outstanding meeting. The scientific content was of highest quality, and the social activities were extraordinary. In this context, the Gala Dinner should be mentioned, because it was followed by a wonderful presentation of numerous non-professional dancers and singers from hospital labs and from clinical wards who had prepared this show diligently for about half a year. 

Dr. Asif Loya
Jing Zhang
From left to right: Xiu-Wu Bian, Dietlind Schmidt, Dietmar Schmidt
Dietmar Schmidt, Israel Borrajero Martinez

Although Hefei is a lot bigger than many cities in Europe or North and South America it is almost unknown in Western countries. It is the capital and largest city of the Chinese province of Anhui and as a prefecture-level city, it is the political, economic, and cultural center of Anhui. Hefei is located 130 kilometers (81 mi) west of Nanjing. The city was originally known as Luchow or Liu-tcheou during the Ming and Qing dynasties (after the 14th century to the 19th century), but it was renamed as Hefei County in 1912. Following the Chinese victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945, Hefei was made the capital of Anhui. The city has two main train stations, the newest one is Hefei South railway station (Hefeinan Station) where most high-speed trains pass through. We had a chance to use one of the high-speed trains in order to visit the beautiful city of Nanjing. Another trip worth doing is a visit to the ancient city of Sanhe (2,500 years old) which is located just 35 kilometers off Hefei. This small city of just 73.000 inhabitants has retained its old charm and thus attracts lots of tourists every weekend. 

On this year´s last trip I went to La Habana, Cuba to attend the Congreso Anatomia Patológica 2019 in the Palacio de Congresos, which took place from November 11 - 14, 2019. This congress coincided with the celebration of the 500 Year Anniversary of La Habana, which attracted many visitors to this fascinating Caribbean city. IAP central supported this meeting strongly by donating US$5,000, and I was happy to see that this money was exclusively used for financing travel and registration of the 220 Cuban participants. All invited speakers waived their support for both travel and hotel. It was an excellent meeting, which covered all important aspects of pathology, including discussions on how to attract more medical students to pathology and improve the communication between clinicians and pathologists. Unfortunately, the situation for medical doctors is not easy at this time. Overall, there were 58 conferences, five panels and two symposia. Congratulations to Prof. Israel Borrajero Martinez and his team for a wonderful congress, attended by diligent and disciplined pathologists who all stayed in La Habana until the end of the meeting.  

Lunch in the Palacio de Congresos with invited speakers and local organizers

It has been a year of great activity for most of our Divisions and I would like to acknowledge the continuous hard work of all its officers. They have worked with humility and silence. I especially want to thank Dr Ray McMahon, our Secretary, for his tireless efforts in running the daily business of the IAP, and Charles Ramey, our Executive Assistant Secretary, for his outstanding task and experience. 

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all members of our Committees and Assemblies. They have worked many hours to pursue the IAP Mission: Integration, Universality and Service.

by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Schmidt

January 2020