Whether you’ve stumbled across this website by accident or you’re here because you know exactly what we’re trying to achieve, we’re glad to see you’ve found us! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Pathological Society’s Undergraduate Network, let’s start from the beginning.
Where It All Started
Early in 2013, the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland held a joint scientific meeting with the Dutch Pathological Society in the City of Utrecht. The meeting was jam-packed into two fervent days of presentations and speeches, with over 200 delegates flitting around the University and old town.
Of these 200 delegates there were 23 students presenting their work, hidden among the Pathologists, Professors and other medical professionals. Over the 3 days my colleague and I were in Utrecht, we met just 2 other students (and this was at the conference dinner where, as you might imagine, conversation isn’t focused entirely on research or pathology).
As the meeting ended, although our experience was certainly one to remember, we couldn’t help feeling that this undergraduate anonymity was something which needed to be addressed.
Over the next few months, by working closely with the Pathological Society, an undergraduate forum was scheduled at their summer meeting in Edinburgh. This provided a forum, on the first day of the meeting, where students could present their work in addition to whatever they were doing at the rest of the conference. The session was unanimously hailed as a success, not just because students met and experienced presenting at a national meeting, but also because other senior delegates we’re able to experience the varied and impressive work being carried out by undergraduates across the country.
At the annual business meeting of the members it was tabled that the impetus from this undergraduate forum must not be allowed to subside. As such, the first undergraduate committee of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland was established.
(That’s who we are!)
So Why Are We Here?
As medical students ourselves, it’s not for us to say whether there is a declining interest in pathology generally. But, certainly from the conversations we’ve had with senior pathologists, it’s widely agreed that more must be done to promote the discipline both as a clinical entity and as an academic base. Whether that be by addressing the teaching of pathology in UK medical schools or by simply educating people about what pathology actually is.
Put simply, our aim is to shift the perception of pathology well away from the stereotypical image of the ancient professor in a darkened room. Over the last few months we’ve met a whole host of pathologists and the vast majority of them enjoy (even actively seek out) natural light! We believe that pathology deserves to be seen as the vibrant, dynamic and intellectually stimulating career it really is.