By Jennifer Kasten, MD, FASCP
Three years ago, I attended my first ASCP Annual Meeting in Long Beach, Calif. The crowning jewel was the Resident Reception at a nearby rooftop bar. The ASCP leadership (President, CEO, Board) was there and was genuinely interested in talking (and singing) with the residents. It was an exceptional evening, and it was at that point that I felt ASCP was truly something special within organized pathology.
I strongly encourage residents who attend the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting to come to the Resident Council Networking Session—and not just for the singing. It is an opportunity to network both with your colleagues—residents and fellows from just about every program in the country—and the leadership from ASCP, faculty and leaders of other organizations.
Basically, you can make friends at, and also gain insight into, virtually every program and hospital in the U.S. If you are thinking about a fellowship basically anywhere in the country, you can get an unbiased take on it by talking to people who are currently there. It’s a very informal reception so people are very candid and relaxed. You can also meet thought leaders from dozens of pathology and pathology subspecialty organizations. For example, Rebecca Johnson, MD, MASCP, Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Pathology, always comes and loves chatting with residents. She discusses the board exams, maintenance of certification process, etc.
Since that first networking event, my involvement in ASCP has grown substantially. When you begin a residency, you are automatically a member of the organizations, but you don’t really know one from the other. When there was an opportunity to serve on ASCP’s Resident Council, I applied. At that time, I didn’t see much of a difference between ASCP and the other pathology organizations. But, from what I learned at Long Beach, where we had so much face time with the leadership, I came to know and appreciate ASCP’s values. It’s nonprofit and its mission is education, training and advocacy for the entire lab community. Today, I am proud to say that ASCP has become my professional home.
To learn more about networking opportunities and the more than 250 hours of cutting edge education, click here.
Jennifer Kasten, MD, FASCP, is Chair of the ASCP Resident Council.