The Association of Clinical Pathologists was established in 1927, originally as the British Pathologists Association, and changed to its current name in 1930. In W.D. Forster's 'A Short History of Clinical Pathology' (Livingstone, 1961) S.C Dyke indicated the Association was established for four main reasons:
- To improve the conditions of pathology practice and improve the status of clinical pathologists.
- To secure clinical pathologists as being equal to other consultants.
- To encourage and assist medical schools and post-graduate education so that suitably trained doctors could assume charge of hospital laboratories throughout the United Kingdom.
- To establish where members could exchange views on work, research etc.
Today's aims must be very similar. Despite increasing specialization in pathology with the resultant proliferation of societies, which provide a forum for discussion, there is still a need for a multi-disciplinary organization such as the Association. In the current political climate of rationalisation, harmonisation and market testing, the challenges that face all disciplines of pathology are similar.
The proposed multi-skilling of our BMS colleagues and the introduction of modern molecular biology techniques are two forces that are bringing the disciplines back together. The association, with its strong grass-roots support through branches and committees, is in a commanding position to allow it to make its own assessment of situations freely, cogently and convincingly and to convey these to the Department of Health, the Royal College of Pathologists and other important groupings.