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Dr. David Parham, Editor-in-Chief
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30th Anniversary of Board Certification in Pediatric Pathology

August 15, 2020

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the first certification examination in Pediatric Pathology. A full history is planned for a forthcoming issue of Pediatric and Developmental Pathology. The following time line provides the highlights of events leading to American Board of Pathology (ABPath) certification of our subspecialty.
 
1965 .............................. The Pediatric Pathology Club (PPC), forerunner to the Society for Pediatric Pathology, is founded.
Circa 1970 .................... The first formal discussions by the PPC occurred regarding seeking certification in Pediatric Pathology.
1980 ..............................  Renewed interest in seeking certification appeared following a report by Dr. Benjamin Landing to the PPC Council and membership. PPC president Dr. Mollie Dapena sends a letter and survey to the membership to assess support for certification.
1983 ..............................  President Dr. Daria Haust leads the reorganization of the PPC as the Society for Pediatric Pathology (SPP), including new bylaws that include as one of the Society’s purposes the development of a certification process.
August 1983 ................  The ABPath trustees vote to establish the Pediatric Pathology Test Committee (PPTC).
1984 ..............................  Dr. William Donnelly is appointed as the SPP’s liaison to ABPath to lead the SPP’s involvement in the development of board certification.
February 1984 .............  The first five SPP members are appointed to the ABPath PPTC.
April 9, 1984 ................  First meeting of the PPTC.
November 1988 ..........  ABPath formally requests the American Board of Medical Specialties to authorize the Board to issue certificates of Special Qualification in Pediatric Pathology.
1990 ..............................  ABPath’s requirement for eligibility are 2 years of additional training or 4 years of full-time experience, in addition to anatomic pathology (AP)/clinical pathology (CP) or AP only
certification. November 20, 1990 ....  The first Pediatric Pathology Examination takes place in Atlanta, Georgia; 91 successful candidates are certified.
February 1991 .............  ABPath approves Canadian pathologists’ eligibility for certification in pediatric pathology, contingent on having requisite experience and certification in general pathology or AP by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
By 1991......................... Seven one-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)accredited pathology “residencies” based at children’s hospitals exist.
1992 .............................. The seven ACGME accredited children’s hospital pathology “residencies” are first listed under the category of “Selective Pathology”.
October 1992 ............... ABPath trustees provisionally approve 54 U.S. and 8 Canadian children’s hospitals as sites for pediatric pathology training, pending ACGME accrediting additional programs.
1994.............................. The ACGME approves specific accreditation requirements for one-year pediatric pathology “residencies”, effective July 1995.
August 1994 ................  For eligibility, ABPath decreases the length of additional training to one-year and the length of prior experience to two-years. 
May 18, 1995 ...............  The last of the hotel-based examinations was given, and the examination was subsequently offered only biannually.
1996 ..............................  Eleven ACGME-accredited programs are the first to be designated as “Pediatric Pathology (Pathology-Anatomic and Clinical);” three additional programs continue to be listed under “Selective Pathology.”
August 18, 1997 ..........  The first pediatric pathology examination is administered in the ABPath’s examination center in Tampa.
1999 .............................. Qualification for the examination by experience ends after this year’s examination, and hearafter special training becomes required. ABPath changes the designation of “Special Qualification” to “Subspecialty Certification”.
2004 ..............................  The ACGME changes terminology for subspecialty training from residencies to
fellowships.
2005 ..............................  The ABPath issues time-unlimited certificates for the last time. Afterwards, recertification becomes required for continued board certification.
2006 ..............................  Newly certified diplomates are required to participate in Maintenance of Certification (MOC; now renamed Continuing Certification).
2009 ..............................  Interposed fellowships after 2 years of AP/CP or AP only training permitted by ABPath; pediatric pathology certification granted only after completing AP/CP or AP only training and certification.
2011 ..............................  The examination is once again offered annually.
2018 ..............................  The Society for Pediatric Pathology becomes one of ABPath’s Cooperating Societies.
2020 ..............................  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the certification examination will be remotely
administered with live proctoring.
2021 ..............................  The 10-year MOC examination will be replaced by participation in ABPath’s CertLink quarterly educational and evaluation program.
 
 
Jeff Goldstein, MD, MSc
UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
 

About the Author

Jeff Goldstein, MD, MSc

UCLA
Los Angeles, CA
JeffreyGoldstein@mednet.ucla.edu

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