Today is International Pathology Day, a time to celebrate the contribution of pathology and laboratory medicine services to global healthcare.

70% of medical decisions rely on pathology. The service plays an invaluable role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Whether it’s a routine health screen, cancer diagnosis, or blood donation— patients depend on pathology in every country across the globe.

Australia boasts 1,800 pathologists and 35,000 people working in pathology, including roles that range from medical scientists to lab technicians and collectors. These are the people responsible for processing 500 million samples each year.

With the highest global quality standards, rapid turnaround times and highly trained workers, Australian pathology is literally world class and should be recognised as such.

On International Pathology Day, events are being held around the world to explore the potential of pathology in addressing global health issues.

London will play host to ‘Pathology and Cancer’, a live webinar roundtable discussion on the critical role of pathology in meeting the commitments of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Cancer Resolution.

Organised by the British Royal College of Pathologists, this important roundtable will bring together an internationally-renowned panel of speakers to explore ways to ensure international cancer control plans adequately address the provision of effective and affordable pathology services.

In Malaysia, students and aspiring pathologists from University of Malaysia Sarawak, will host a celebration at the Museum of Anatomy and Pathology. The interactive event will feature scientifically themed games and food to teach students about the value of pathology.

Back in Australia, Tasmanian pathologists will be hosting a breakfast in Hobart to highlight the importance of bowel cancer screening as part of the #justpooit campaign. Attendees will include Parliamentary MPs, the Hobart Lord Mayor and the CEO of Cancer Council Tasmania. The event will bring together bowel cancer survivors and experts to discuss the effectiveness of bowel screening in preventing deaths through early detection.

Throughout the day, Tasmanians can learn about pathology at various pop-up stalls around the island. Information stalls will be located outside the Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital, North West Regional Hospital, Mersey Community Hospital, Launceston Pathology and Hobart Pathology.

In celebration of International Pathology Day, The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) will be running a competition for anyone hosting their own event. The competition is open to all hospitals, collection centres, laboratories, medical schools/universities who have signed up to receive RCPA’s free promotional packs. To enter, you can post information and photos of your events directly to RCPA or to RCPA’s Facebook page.

No matter where you live, without pathology workers, there is no medicine. Today, we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the hidden heroes of healthcare.