Bulletin October 2019 Number 188

I don’t believe it. It’s my last Bulletin as editor (sad face) after 16 issues. It’s been a ball.

It seems right that my final theme is ‘The College’. We have rightly celebrated the move into our wonderful new building. Now it’s time to give yourselves some pats on the back for all the great work the College officers, staff and members have achieved. It was really hard to choose topics from the wealth of College activity, and it seemed appropriate to include a historical perspective. We therefore start with a reflection on the role of medical royal colleges by one of our past presidents, Sir James Underwood, based on his public lecture earlier this year. It’s a thought-provoking read.

Coming right up to date, we are now two years into the terms of office of our President and other honorary officers. The President’s editorial (pp 195–197) therefore includes some reflections on her ‘work in progress’ and aspirations for her final year. Similarly, the three Vice Presidents, who each oversee an area of College work, have taken time from their hectic schedules to provide splendid overviews of progress in each of their areas (pp 201–207). We then present three of the College’s important strategy documents, covering patient safety, research and international affairs (pp 207–211). These represent the College’s vision in such key areas of practice, and were developed with input from many Fellows. In College news (pp 219–221), we continue our introduction to College staff, this time featuring the Training, Assessment and Exams team who are so crucial in ensuring the necessary rigour in our training programmes and examinations. This section also includes an interesting article on differential attainment (pp 222–223), describing the work that goes into ensuring fairness for all exam candidates.

Our Bulletin theme in July was pathologists in unusual places and this applies just as well to our public engagement activities. We are now connecting with the Cubs (no, not the Chicago ones) and the Women’s Institute (p 215), showing the appeal of pathology at any age. It’s now the run-up to National Pathology Week (NPW), and it’s not too late to get involved – just email Penny or Thadcha in the Public Engagement team.

I’m delighted to say that our updated leaflet ‘What is Pathology?’ is ready for launch (p 213). We look forward to using it during NPW and beyond. Of course, the reach of the College is truly international. International Pathology Day is always a marvellous event – please see p 228 for information on this year’s theme and programme. This issue also includes a letter about the achievements of Sir Cyril Cyrus, of St Vincent in the Caribbean (p 246).

Closer to home, we have reports from Northern Ireland (pp 227–228). Much has been written about the challenges faced in providing a viable autopsy service, so it’s good to see an initiative in Wales designed to improve the situation (pp 229–230).

Aren’t our trainees wonderful? It’s been a joy as editor to include an increasing amount of high quality material from them, and I’m grateful to Matthew Clarke, Chair of the Trainee Committee, and Tauseef Kapadi, Trainee Lead for the Bulletin, in persuading colleagues to write for us (pp 231–238). This time we have articles on the key topic of work-life balance, along with the varied experiences of trainees in veterinary pathology and chemical pathology, the latter notable for getting out of lab to support biochemistry testing for the homeless. We are also delighted to announce the winner of the first William Tong award for a trainee in virology (p 242).

As I hand over the ceremonial red pen, I’m delighted that my successor as Bulletin Editor will be Dr Shubha Allard. I know she will continue its evolution, with the theme in January being pathology for the 2020s. Finally, I would like to pass on huge thanks to everyone in the Communications department – you are all brilliant and it’s been great working with you.