CAP-ACP 2016 Annual Progress Report
Mon, 27 Feb 2017

Founded in 1949, the Canadian Association of Pathologists - Association canadienne des pathologistes (CAP-ACP) is the voice of pathology and laboratory medicine in Canada, advancing the interests of laboratory physicians across the country.
In 2016 we continue with our four major areas of focus; education programs; national guideline development; collaboration and partnership; and advocacy on behalf of Canadian pathologists and the profession.


  • Our 67th Annual Meeting of the Association was from July 9-12, 2016 and held at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, British Columbia.  The conference featured a multi-disciplinary scientific program, renowned guest speakers, an extensive two-day trade show and a great social program. It was a unique opportunity to update skills and knowledge and to network with medical laboratory professionals from a variety of disciplines. The Annual General Meeting of the association was also be held during this conference. The annual meeting was a great success with over 500 registrants. In addition to scientific symposia and meetings of special interest groups, we had specialty workshops, platform presentations, and a large poster session. Corporate support was very generous for this meeting and the tradeshow floor was sold out.  The 68th Annual meeting will be in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island from June 10-13, 2017.
  • The 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting, “Developing Strategies for a Sustainable Career in Pathology“, will be held June 10-13 in Charlottetown and will feature a multi-disciplinary scientific program, renowned guest speakers, an extensive trade show and a great social program. The Annual General Meeting for CAP-ACP will also be held during this conference.  Highlights:
    • Plenary sessions with national and international leaders from various fields exploring the unifying theme of strategies to sustain a pathology career with ever increasing workflow demands.
    • The conference will have well defined beginning and closure, with three-day duration and a pre-conference day with in-depth workshops.
    • Concurrent sessions in three different learning tracks that will address the various content interests, scopes of practice, and learning styles of the audience: Subspecialty practice, General practice and Canadian practice-related topics.
    • Partnerships with renowned organizations such as the CMPA and the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network to offer hands-on learning opportunities at the highest level.
    • A later daily starting time and an earlier daily end of activities with synchronized breaks and lunch to allow more networking opportunities.
    • A networking lunch for Canadian trainees and pathology leaders for optimizing employment, fellowship and mentorship possibilities.
    • An array of cultural and social events showcasing everything PEI and the Maritimes have to offer.
  • CPD & SAMs.  The CAP-ACP has a small selection of online CPD courses and in partnership with the College of American Pathologists and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, provides access to over 60 self-assessment modules (SAMs).
  • Our 2017 Resident Review Course was held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Toronto Airport West in Mississauga, January 12-15. This four-day practical review course for Residents; in preparation for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certification examinations in Anatomic Pathology, General Pathology, and Hematological Pathology. Objectives of the course: At the end of the meeting participants will be able to:
    • Review and update core medical knowledge in preparation for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certification examinations in Anatomic Pathology, General Pathology, and Hematological Pathology.
    • Develop strategies for optimal preparation and exam performance in the written, practical, and oral components of the examination, and understand examination formats
    • Discuss and assess the significance of new findings and observations in the context of current literature
    • Demonstrate competence in the non-medical expert CanMEDS roles, in particular laboratory management and quality assurance
  • The Canadian Journal of Pathology launched its own website, change publishers to Clockwork and moved to a completely bilingual journal.  The Editor-in-Chief, Dr. George Yousef, of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto and the CJP is managed by our Executive Director, Heather Dow.  The CJP is currently completing their application for indexing with Ebscohost and Pubmed.  This is a major area of focus for the Association. 
  • Webinars.  In collaboration with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Cancer Care Ontario, the CAP-ACP presented a new series of cancer checklist education sessions by webinar on the following topics: Colorectal, Ovary, Melanoma, Urinary Bladder, Pediactric Rhabdomyosarcoma.  We will be offering another series of cancer checklist education sessions in 2017.
  • ExpertPath The CAP-ACP is offering its Resident and PA members a discounted license to ExpertPath. 
  • Case of the Month. The Pathologists' Assistants Continuing Education Committee (PA CEC) posts "Case of the Month" presentations and invites section members to download and review the cases.  The Education Committee is responsible to look into continuing education requirements for section members, to obtain information on existing and developing PA programs in Canada and to make the arrangements for the annual general meeting conference. 
  • Banff Pathology Course.  The Banff Pathology Course is a collaborative effort of the Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP-ACP), Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary to provide a continuing medical education activity for practicing pathologists and residents in training.  The course was a great success with over 200 delegates attending the course from September 2-5, 2016.  The next three courses have been booked: Aug 30-Sept 2, 2017, Sept 12-15, 2018, & Sept 11-14, 2019 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, Alberta.

Guideline Development

  • The Guidelines page on our website continues to be reviewed and updated.  Guidelines can also be found on the Patient Safety and Quality Assurance and on the Cytopathology section pages.
  • Position Statement on Pathologists’ Assistants.  The CAP-ACP recognizes that there is a role and a need for appropriately trained and certified non-medical personnel (Pathologists’ Assistants (PAs) to assist pathologists in the preparation and examination of tissues in the setting of surgical and autopsy pathology.  This delegation of responsibilities is similar to that given to other physician extenders, such as physician assistants.  They have formed the
  • Certification of Pathologists Assistants.  The Pathologists’ Assistants Section of the CAP-ACP has requested that CAP-ACP certify Pathologists’ Assistants who meet certain criteria.  We are working through the ISO standards application process and fully support this initiative. 
  • The Canadian Certification Council of Pathologists' Assistants (CCCPA).  The CCCPA executive was formally established and will begin certifying Pathologists' Assistants (PAs) in the near future.  The certification requirements are expected to remain akin to the current membership requirements to the PA Section of the CAP-ACP.

Collaboration and Partnership

  • Canadian Partnership Against Cancer: Collaboration continues on two national initiatives (1) Electronic Synoptic Pathology Reporting Initiative (ESPRI) and (2) Quality Initiative in Interpretative Pathology (QIIP) - development of guidelines for interpretative pathology and second opinion. On November 16, (International Pathology Day) the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, in collaboration with the Association, released recommendations to improve the quality of interpretive pathology practice in Canada.  The Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Recommendations aim to enhance patient safety by promoting better and more consistent pathology quality assurance processes across the country.  The framework is the first of its kind in Canada, and acts as an informational and decision-making resource to guide jurisdictions in incorporating recommendations into new and existing quality programs. It has been recognized by international pathology leaders.  Watch Dr. John Srigley, Expert Lead, Pathology at the Partnership and Dr. Victor Tron, President of CAP-ACP explain the role of pathologists and the significance of the recommendations, and read more on  This recommendations framework is intended to be a living document which will be updated at regular intervals as new concepts and evidence emerges. PDF - Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Recommendations for Interpretive Pathology
  • International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR): CAP-ACP is a founding member of this collaboration along with RCPA, RCPath, CAP, and ESP. ICCR was legally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in September 2014.
  • International Liaison of Pathology Presidents. The International Liaison of Pathology Presidents (ILPP) brings together Presidents, Presidents-Elect and Chief Executive Officers (or their representative) of Pathology Colleges or Associations worldwide to meet face to face annually to exchange information and discuss common issues related to pathology. The ILPP met with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in Melbourne, Australia on February 26 – 28, 2016.  It preceded their Pathology Update Annual meeting. Present were 20 Presidents, Vice Presidents, Executive Directors or CEOs from pathology associations around the globe.
  • Canadian Leadership Council on Laboratory Medicine (CLCLM). The CLCLM met during Annual Meeting in Vancouver. They now have a forward reaching goal of being in alignment and/or harmonizing the CLCLM membership with the CAP-ACP Council. Efforts will be made to reach out to the member organizations, who do not currently have a representative on the Council, in order to make the Council more robust. 
  • College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Dr. Richard Friedberg, President of the CAP (now past president) and Dr. William Schreiber, President-elect of the ASCP were our guests during the Annual Meeting in Vancouver. Both joined our business meetings, (Council and Executive) offering their perspectives on the agenda items. We appreciate and value the collaborative efforts among our partner associations.

Advocacy/Public Relations

  •, our public relations website, launched on August 12, 2014. The goal of is to identify and personalize pathologists and to elevate our role as an important member of a patient's health care team. CAP-ACP has committed $75,000 to over three years, but we continue to pursue support from corporate partners so that we can take this initiative to the next level.
  • Social Media. CAP-ACP and the CAPACP President have active engagement on the social media platforms Linkedln, Facebook, and Twitter
  • International Pathology Day. The CAP-ACP participated, primarily through social media channels, in International Pathology Day on November 16, 2016.
  • Newsletter.  We continue to publish a Newsletter every 2 months highlighting our four major areas of focus.

Download and print the full report here.

Yours sincerely,

Victor Tron, MD, FRCPC
President, Canadian Association of Pathologists – Association canadiennes des pathologistes