Three years vanished in an instant. When I took on the role of the Editor, it seemed very distant and almost intangible that one day I will write my last editorial. This is it. During the time I spent in this role, I’ve learnt a lot and found every minute of it challenging but very satisfying. Of course all of this is not news in any way – all of my predecessors probably had the same feeling. It is almost customary that one should look back to the period of work and tries to list what were the highlights (the opposite experiences are almost completely forgotten).
I will not bore you with the past – it is already there, where it belongs. Instead, I would like to invite you on a journey, into the future. Unfortunately, I could not summon a time machine, and have to use the poor man’s time travel; the imagination of mind to try to predict what will happen in a few years or a few decades time. Of course, not looking into the future in general, but in relation to our profession – creating a mini live time capsule on the pages of the Bulletin – for everyone to see, at any time.
We heard the obituary of conventional pathology and the pathologist as a profession many times, but the funeral has not happened yet. What will the future be like? Will there be some kind of digital machinery, which will spit out the answer to the clinician’s questions? Or will there be a universal molecular test, which will give the answer to the question was not even asked?
If you are still with me – you’re probably interested at least a little about how I imagine the future. I am afraid most of it is not a secret – the technologies are already with us, some of them existed for a long time. Our world has changed significantly – turning pathology into one of the most heavily mechanised and computerised medical specialties. Although many elements of our jobs remained untouched by this industrial revolution, there will be an inevitable shift in the diagnostic world – many more of our activities will relate to molecular technologies, so I think the greatest advances will be in this area in the near future. Also, it is not particularly difficult to predict that many of the developments will depend on successful communication, between medics, and more importantly between each other.
The use of computers is probably nearing a peak now – yes, we will use them even more, but the way we use them will change too. They will become intelligent assistants to our work and complement the work we do, but the synthesising knowledge of the pathologists will still be required.
As far as the fate of written words are concerned: the Bulletin will probably be with us for a long time, hopefully the long awaited College App will make its appearance soon too. Our consumption of media has changed significantly, and this will be reflected in our professional life as well; more access to native data is only around the corner.
What remains for me now is the usual task of the editor; introduce some of the articles in the coming issue. In the first issue of 2015, the President tells us about her plans, we still have new ways of working and innovation, including using digital pathology in diagnostics, and you can read about the first international pathology day and the “Blood and Bugs” events.
I wish you all a very successful and happy new year – thank you for your support and patience, I am signing out – (many of you probably don’t know that I have an amateur radio licence too), so 73 de M3IGA Laszlo Igali, Bulletin Editor.