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President's Newsletter

January 2021

First and foremost, I wish you all a happy New Year, and that 2021 is a better year than 2020. It is not the start to the year that any of us had wished for but let us hope that we can achieve some degree of normality as soon as possible.

This is the first of a new style of BDIAP Newsletter, which we intend to send on a quarterly basis to update you about activities within our Division. As you will see below, this will provide links to recent activities, as well as future educational events should you wish to register. There will also be links to items relevant to the present day. 

So much has gone on since the last Newsletter that it is not possible to review everything achieved, but the highlight obviously was the delivering of the joint IAP and ESP meeting in virtual format, as opposed to face-to-face in Glasgow. Obviously, it was saddening not to be able to meet up in that great city but, for those who attended remotely, I hope you agree that the content and delivery of all the lectures was exceptional, given how new the technology was to all those who participated. There are too many people to thank across both Societies, but I personally would like to thank our outgoing BDIAP President and IAP Conference President, Ray McMahon, for the incredible amount of work that he put in to make the conference happen. All of us are truly in his debt. The good news is that, if you registered as a delegate, all the scientific content is still available on the conference website.

Other highlights from 2019/20 are the inception of new membership categories, both for biomedical medical scientists as well as foundation doctors, in order to encourage careers in cellular pathology.  We now have 384 trainee members, 20 BMS and 42 Foundation members. This is due in particular to the hard work of our trainee counsellors who have been extremely active over the past few years, not least in educating pathologists such as myself in the use of Facebook and Twitter.

We are now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and also have a new website, which I encourage you to visit. This will facilitate the management of membership issues considerably and we hope that it will evolve into a considerable educational repository as time progresses. Of note, both trainee members and full members have written articles on their experiences in relation to the pandemic in relation to the autopsy burden and experiences in redeployment, which are well worth a read to see how the pandemic has affected our work practices. View the articles here

Despite restrictions on meeting in person and travel, the BDIAP still managed to deliver both the Molecular Study Day and the Study Day for Trainees on Cut up in November (members can access the lectures by clicking the link and logging into your BDIAP Member area), as well as the Sri Lankan School of Pathology. Again, these were wholly virtual events but, if there is a positive to come out of dealing with the pandemic, it has shown exactly how much we can deliver in terms of education using remote technology. However, as I stated in my brief acceptance speech, I think it is vital that we maintain a physical meeting as soon as it is safe, encompassing these advances in digital technology to allow hybrid meetings to evolve.

Looking forward to 2021, the next event in our calendar will be our joint meeting with the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, originally to be held in Manchester in July 2021. However, given that it is so hard to predict when exactly people can meet in person, this is being planned as a purely virtual meeting as well. Hopefully, by the time of our meeting on Urological Pathology in November, we will be back to meeting in person.

If you are looking for support for your ACCEA application from the BDIAP, then please ensure that you have submitted your application via your BDIAP Member area before February 14th. Please refer to the email from the BDIAP on 21st December for full instructions, or contact Sam Kiely

Finally, thank you also to Sam, Nabila, Stefan and Nafisa for kickstarting these communications. If you have any ideas as to how we can meet your needs - or those of others - in terms of developing the role of our Division in cellular pathology, please do not hesitate to get in contact

Andrew Nicholson
BDIAP President

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