[Histonet] Pathologists' Assistants now certified by ASCP

Charles.Embrey Charles.Embrey <@t> carle.com
Tue Oct 12 11:51:21 CDT 2004

I just wanted to update the histonet on the new affiliation between the
American Association of Pathologists' Assistants and the ASCP and BOR.

Charles Embrey

Pathologists' Assistant AAPA

Histology Manager

Carle Clinic, Urbana Illinois.


For Immediate Release: Oct. 2, 2004 


CHICAGO--The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is 
pleased to announce that the American Association of Pathologists' 
Assistants (AAPA) will now be a participating member of the ASCP 
Board of Registry (BOR) Board of Governors. On Oct. 2, 2004, a 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ASCP BOR and the AAPA 
was officially accepted and the two groups will begin offering the 
only professional certification for pathologists' assistants. AAPA 
Fellows are immediately eligible for ASCP certification. Beginning 
Oct. 1, 2005, other qualified candidates will be able to take the 
pathologists' assistant certification examination to become 

Although the total number of individuals practicing as pathologists' 
assistants is unknown, most are probably AAPA members, each of whom 
had to pass a membership qualifying examination and meet strict 
training and experience criteria before becoming Fellows. According 
to Patricia Ellinger, MSEd, MT(ASCP)SBB, chair of the ASCP BOR Board 
of Governors, "Current AAPA Fellows can obtain certification through 
the BOR by submitting an application to the BOR between Oct. 1, 
2004, and Dec. 31, 2005. After Dec. 31, 2005, all individuals 
seeking certification will have to pass the BOR certification 
examination to earn the credential. The certification will have 
multiple routes, similar to other BOR certifications. Examination 
applicants must be graduates of a pathologists' assistant 
educational program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency 
for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) or be able to demonstrate 
that they meet specific training and work experience requirements." 

National certification for pathologists' assistants is the 
realization of a long-held dream, explained AAPA member James W. 
Moore, MHS, who worked closely with the ASCP BOR to develop the MOU 
and establish the certification program. Until recently, he was the 
acting executive director of the National Commission on 
Certification of Pathologists' Assistants, a body initially 
organized by the AAPA to identify and evaluate various options for 
national certification. "In 1972 when the AAPA was formed, its 
primary purpose was to establish and maintain appropriate 
educational and professional standards for those working in the 
field and to seek national recognition and certification for its 
members," Moore said 

"Pathologists' assistants are physician extenders much like 
physicians' assistants," added AAPA Broad of Trustees Chair Thomas 
L. Reilly, BHS. "They are extensively trained and educated to 
provide complex anatomic pathology services under the supervision 
and direction of licensed, board-certified pathologists. It is not 
within their scope of practice to render a diagnosis," he 
stressed. "That is the responsibility of the pathologist." 

Ellinger expects the demand for pathologists' assistants to increase 
over time. "If the patient population continues to grow as expected, 
the need for laboratory services and pathologists' assistants will 
too." Reilly agrees with this view. "We are producing fewer 
pathologists than we used to, which is fueling the need for 
pathologists' assistants," he said. "And, I expect national 
certification to increase our visibility and possibly create 
additional demand." 

For more information or to find out how to apply for pathologists' 
assistant certification contact the ASCP BOR by e-mail at 
bor <@t> ascp.org or call 1-800-621-4142, extension 1139. Application 
forms will be available after Oct. 15, 2004. As more information 
becomes available it will be posted on our website at 
www.ascp.org/bor, explained ASCP Senior Vice President and BOR 
Executive Director Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., MT(ASCP), CAE. 

# # #

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is the largest 
association of pathologists and laboratory professionals in the 
world, with more than 140,000 members. ASCP is the leading provider 
of continuing education for pathologists and medical technologists 
and technicians, clinical scientists and other laboratory 
professionals. The ASCP's Board of Registry continues to certify the 
majority of the laboratory personnel working in the field and has 
certified more than 392,000 laboratorians. The ASCP promotes the 
health and safety of the public by enhancing the knowledge and 
skills of pathologists and laboratory professionals. For more 
information, visit the ASCP website at www.ascp.org. "America's 
Health Depends on Its Laboratories."

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