The latest technology helps laboratory professionals make more accurate diagnoses. Photo: Jose M. Correa

The quality of services provided by clinical laboratories, and their accreditation as diagnostic centers, were the center of attention for hundreds of experts from around the world, at the 9th National Congress on Clinical Pathology, CONAPAC 2016, held March 9-11 at Havana’s Convention Center.

The gathering allowed for the exchange of ideas during a symposium on laboratory quality, focused on methodological, theoretical and practical issues, and additionally proved propitious for the updating of information regarding recent developments in this area of medical knowledge.

Scientists from a variety of countries including France, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, addressed workshops on topics such as endocrine social epidemics of the 21st century; evidence-based laboratory medicine; hemostasis and thrombosis; maternal-infant health; medical genetics and molecular biology; and tumor markers, among others.

The inaugural keynote speech was focused on the future of clinical laboratories, presented by Dr. Carl Burtis, from the United States, editor of one of the most important books on clinical bio-chemistry, according to Cuban experts.

“We held an intra-congress workshop presented by six professors from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry,” explained Abraham Marcel, president of the conference organizing committee.

Also taking place parallel to the professional event was the Expo-Lab Fair, with distributors and producers of chemical products, clinical reagents, and laboratory equipment participating.

The Cuban Clinical Pathology Society was responsible for organizing the event, under the direction of the Ministry of Public Health.

On December 17, 69 years ago, the Cuban Society of Clinical Laboratory Doctors was founded at Havana’s former Medical College, the first such group to be established in the Americas.

The organization’s official journal, Revista Cubana de Laboratorio Clínico, was launched as the first publication of this kind in the Spanish language.

The current technological demands of the field have made it a multi-disciplinary specialty, in which other non-medical professionals play an increasing indispensable role in improving performance and competence.

After the January 1, 1959, Revolution in Cuba, clinical laboratory diagnosis was officially recognized as a post-graduate medical specialty, and over the years, these professionals have worked to maintain ties with international colleagues and societies, holding scientific events to allow for the necessary exchange of information and ideas among specialists from around the world.