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Just Before Dawn

Publication is research work’s endpoint. Unless we publish our work (i.e., “to make public”), our outputs will not be included in the body of scientific literature, will neither be cited nor acknowledged, will be lost knowledge and information, and ultimately cannot be built upon by future researchers. Publication is permanence and is an imperative for a professional society like the Philippine Society of Pathologists.

For us Filipino pathologists, the publication of our local data, is an issue that can be addressed systematically, purposefully, and comprehensively.

First, there must be recognition from our leaders on the need for evidence on which to base our practice as laboratorians and laboratory managers, and, from there, investment of time, effort, and funding.

Second, there must be concrete planning of the steps to take, to get us from the status quo to what should be. The Committee on Research of PSP and Board of Pathology are in the best position to do this, through purposeful capacity building of our young pathologists on the necessary research competencies–from grant proposal writing to research methodologies, from data analysis to research writing–to generate the results that we need. We can consider publication and not mere completion of research, as a requirement for residents and diplomates.

Third, the society can support the research consortia being organized by the pathology training institutions, in order to stimulate research questions and catalyze collaborations. I must thank PSP for her recognition of PJP as a high-quality platform for pathology research and her continued support to the operations of the journal. But the society can do more, by investing in medium- and long-term research agenda setting, as well as, looking into establishment of grant schemes to motivate our pathologists-in-training to go into research.

Thomas Fuller, a historian and theologian, was the first one to have said that “the night is darkest, just before dawn,” which reminds us that things get worse, before they get better, and more importantly, that even in adverse circumstances, there is hope.

We are on our way. We will get there.

Amado O. Tandoc III, MD, FPSP




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