Monday, May 12, 2014

I've just arrived in Pittsburgh for the Pathology Informatics Summit 2014.  This meeting is my home base.  The place where I can be myself and hang with people who understand what I do for a living.  (No, my family still has no idea...)  I'm really excited to be here, and I know I will be sad when I leave.  There is no other meeting like this one for those of us who practice pathology informatics.  We have a lot of exciting content this year.  Lots of digital imaging and computational pathology for next generation sequencing will be here.  The possibilities for networking and collaboration seem endless and a bit overwhelming. 

We are using Twitter hashtag #PathInfo2014.  I've posted the tweet search on this hashtag here on my blog. 

I'm giving the presidential address this year.  I have a little surprise embedded in it which I hope will be, I hope it's just funny.  I may post it here on the blog after all is said and done (and hopefully not in a funereal never knows with humor sometimes).  It will probably all have to be explained later to my parents and to non-informaticists, but one of the joys of this meeting is that I don't have to explain my jokes (and, yes, they really are funny).  I don't even have to finish most of my sentences.  Someone here already knows exactly what I'm talking about.

It has been a year and a half since our last meeting since we changed the venue to the spring.  Way too long.  I'm having withdrawal symptoms. 

And just a small side (and a little sad) note...coming back to the 'Burgh reminds me of a dear mentor that I lost a year and a half ago, Dr. Jeffrey Kant.  I still have a picture of him and his lovely wife in my office at work.  He was like a dad to me in many ways, and I will always miss him.  He was a mentor who managed to get the best out of you without judging or criticizing, and how many mentors always tell you when they are going to be in your neck of the woods so that you can have dinner together with your family? 

I am fortunate to have a lot of other mentors who will be at this meeting.  I cannot enumerate or describe how helpful their attention and guidance has been to me.  It is because I am so grateful to them that I hope to give a lot back to those who are coming behind me.  If you are a trainee or just out in practice in Pathology Informatics, I hope that you will introduce yourselves to me.  I am hatching a plan for mentoring API members who are new into practice.  I would like to run some ideas past you and then bring them to our very dedicated training and education committee chairs, Dr. Mike Riben and Dr. Bruce Levy.

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