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A day of interactive workshops geared towards Pathologists’ Assistants and Residents that focuses on critical skills in Pathology. The morning will consist of multiple short interactive lectures/workshops. In the afternoon the group will work through grossing case studies. These case studies will be led by teams of Pathologists’ Assistants and Residents and will discuss approaches to gross challenging cases and correlate with the microscopic sections.

 

Register for this program in the Pre-conference Workshop section of the registration form. The fee to attend is related to your registration category – see the registration page for more information.

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Explain the principles of quality in grossing.
  • Apply principles of AJCC 8th Edition update to grossing surgical specimens.
  • Discuss and develop an approach to challenging gross cases.

 

SATURDAY JUNE 22 – MORNING SESSION

0830-0915

AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition: Overview and Selected Updates

Duc-Vinh Thai, Trillium Health Partners

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the burden of cancer in today’s Canadian population.
  • Explain the role of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).
  • Describe the principles of the AJCC TNM cancer staging system.
  • Summarize the changes to the disease site chapters and to the disease site pathologic staging.
  • Apply pathologic staging to commonly encountered disease sites.

Cancer staging is a critical element to determine at the time of diagnosis of malignancies. It guides appropriate treatment of patients and it used as a key component in determining eligibility to clinical trials. It also simplifies exchange and comparison of information across treatment centers and between cancer-specific registries. Of the many cancer-staging systems used in the world, the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)’s tumor, node and metastasis (TNM) staging system has become the most clinically useful staging system. Determining the stage of a cancer requires accurate assessment of multiple criteria during the gross and microscopic examinations of the cancer. The task can become daunting because of the subtle differences in definitions of the TMN for each disease site and because of the recent changes brought by the AJCC 8th edition update. This short course is a practical and interactive case-based workshop focusing on commonly encountered disease sites. Gross and microscopic pictures will be presented to highlight key elements of the TMN definitions for different disease sites. Attendees will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge through quizzes. This workshop will be of value to: pathology residents, pathologists’ assistants and anatomic pathologists.

0915-1000

Quality in Grossing

Joanne Swift, Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association Reference Centre (EORLA)

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Will know the definition of Quality.
  • Will understand how to achieve quality in Surgical Pathology.
  • Will understand how to measure and improve the Quality of Grossing in their lab.

Imagine a world in which the nature of the specimen is the only reason for recuts. Our patients are our most important stakeholder, but they are not our only one. Education, Communication and mentoring of Pathologists’ Assistants and Residents is very important, but you must find your baseline to be able to make improvements. We will go through all the steps taken to ensure Quality in Grossing. By the end of this session you will understand how to measure and improve the Quality of Grossing in your lab.
This is an interactive talk that is relevant to PA’s, residents and pathologists – anyone interested in improving the Quality of Grossing specimens, which is according to Susan Lester “one of the most important skills of the pathologist, PA or resident.”

1000-1030

Refreshment Break

1030-1115

PA Award Lecture: Looking Back: A Personal Account on the Development of the Pathologists’ Assistant Profession

Speaker (Award Winner): Bill Gorday, Director, University of Calgary Pathologists’ Assistant Master’s Program

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the history of the PA profession.
  • Differentiate between a job and a profession.
  • Discuss the importance of recognizing the PA role as a profession.
  • Explain the benefits of a formal PA training program vs. on the job training.

A look at the development of the Pathologists’ Assistant profession over the last 20 years from the personal perspective of a PA. A brief history of the PA profession starting in the US will be provided but the focus will be the emergence and development of the PA profession in Calgary, Alberta. National efforts, such as the creation of the CAP-PA section and the CCCPA-CCCAP, and how this affected the profession locally will also be discussed. Finally, possible future directions of the PA profession will be presented. Target audience, PAs, pathology residents, and pathologists.

1115-1200

Experiences in Lab Management

Jim Tsourgiannis, Mackenzie Health

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Explain management career paths that are possible.
  • Summarize key strategies to separate from the pack.
  • Utilize tips to maintaining a prolonged management career.

 

This session will provide a personal account of how I entered Laboratory Management with emphasis on specific keys that personally allowed me to be noticed (in a positive light) and selected for Management positions. I will continue by outlining my progression through various titles and organizations and how each stop (or position) provides a base for the next position. Target Audience: PA’s and Residents who may potentially be interested in entering a Healthcare Leadership Path.

1200-1400

Lunch

 

SATURDAY JULY 7 – AFTERNOON SESSION

1400-1425

Case Study 1: Gross Dissection of Pelvic Exenteration Specimens

Stephanie Sharpley, London Health Sciences Centre – University Hospital

Thomas Shi, Western University

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the anatomy of a pelvic exenteration specimen.
  • Develop an approach to grossing cervical cancer specimens.
  • Explain and summarize the pathology and staging of cervical cancers.

We will be presenting a case from a 53 year-old female with recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix who underwent a pelvic exenteration. We will provide an overview of the gross findings of the surgical specimen, discuss the approach to sectioning, and then correlate the microscopic findings with the gross description. We will also discuss the pathology and staging of cervical cancers. This session will be of value to PAs and residents, as well as pathologists.

1425-1430

Group Case Study Discussion

1430-1455

Case Study 2: Large Abdominal Mass of Unknown Origin in Elderly Lady with Dementia

Jimin (Nancy) Liu,

Mel Palmero, Credit Valley Hospital

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Review organ identification in challenging cases.
  • Discuss the importance of appropriate tissue fixation.
  • Express the value of collaboration between Pathologists and Pathologists’ Assistants.

1455-1500

Group Case Study Discussion

1500-1525

Case Study 3: Gestational Trophoblastic Disease: Moles Masquerading as Menopause

Emmanuelle Chung, University Health Network

Irene Xie,

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the pathogenesis of complete and incomplete hydatidiform moles.
  • Identify key features in grossing GTD.
  • Discuss the histology of complete hydatidiform mole and helpful ancillary tests.
  • Recognize the clinical implications of different types of GTD.

1525-1530

Group Case Study Discussion

1530-1600

Refreshment Break

1400-1425

Case Study 4: Approach to Gross Evaluation of Thymic Tumors

Ayesha Baig, McGill University

Greta Evaristo, McGill University

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • List components of CAP protocol for reporting thymic tumors relevant in guiding gross evaluation.
  • Develop a standardized approach to macroscopic evaluation of thymic specimens.
  • Discuss challenging cases and practical tips for their management.
  • Correlate the gross, microscopic and radiologic findings of thymic neoplasms.

While rare neoplasms, thymic tumors continue to represent an interpretative challenge for pathologists and a management challenge for clinicians. Staging remains the single most important prognostic factor and thus standardized macroscopic and microscopic evaluations of these specimens are imperative for optimal patient management. This workshop is dedicated to review the current CAP protocol for reporting of thymic tumors, highlighting the important considerations with respect to gross assessment of the specimen. A step-wise approach to specimen orientation, description, and sampling will be presented. Radiologic, gross and histological examples will be provided to understand the correlation between these findings. Additionally, a case-based discussion will be used to explore practical approach to challenging cases. The session is directed at pathology residents, pathology assistants as well as general and anatomic pathologists.

1625-1630

Group Case Study Discussion

1630-1655

Case Study 5: Special Autopsy Techniques: Cardiac Conduction System and Metastasis of Unknown Origin

Maliha Khara, Queen’s University

Christine Orr, Queen’s University

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Identify cases in which special autopsy techniques are required.
  • Identify landmarks of the cardiac conduction system.
  • Select optimal lines of dissection to remove the SA and AV nodes.
  • Develop an approach to the hospital “malignancy of unknown origin” case.
  • Identify the landmarks of the biliary tract system.
  • Discuss obscure sites of primary malignancy.

Pathologists are confronted with postmortem examination requests that require special dissection techniques. This presentation will cover both arrhythmogenic deaths and malignancy of unknown origin. Arrhythmogenic deaths are a common theme in any medico-legal postmortem practice. Attendees will acquire the ability to identify landmarks of the cardiac conduction system and learn to select optimal lines of dissection to remove SA and AV nodes. Malignancy of unknown origin can prove difficult when the primary site is within an obscure location. The presentation will highlight specific techniques required to investigate all potential primary sites including outlining the landmarks of the biliary tract system. The session will be of value to: pathology residents, pathology assistants and practicing pathologists involved autopsies.

1655-1700

Group Case Study Discussion

1700-1725

Case Study 6: Gross and Microscopic Examination of Uteri with Placenta Creta and Previa

Kathryn Greenal, Sunnybrook Hospital

Angelica Hodgson, University of Toronto

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental pathogenesis behind abnormal placental attachment and implantation.
  • List the risk factors for the development of abnormal placental attachment and implantation location.
  • Develop an approach to the gross and microscopic assessment of gravid uteri removed due to abnormal placental attachment.

The placenta is a complex organ. Usually, the placenta implants along the lateral or superior aspect of the uterus and is easily removed following fetal delivery, however, this is not always the case. During this session, we will present a case study highlighting some of the concepts regarding abnormal placental location and attachment, with a focus on gross specimen analysis and techniques, as well as a microscopic evaluation of a hysterectomy specimen removed for these reasons. This session will be of value to pathology assistants, residents, and surgical pathologists.

1725-1730

Group Case Study Discussion

1800-2000

PA Poster Presentations and Pathologists’ Assistants Reception