In late August, Dr. Nancy Berliner, ASH president, congratulated Dr. Raúl Cano Castellano for presiding over the 50th anniversary meeting of the Agrupacion Mexicana para el Estudio de la Hematología (AMEH). Dr. Berliner was invited as the special guest of the Mexican society to advance the relationship between the two organizations. At the meeting, she gave a plenary talk on congenital neutropenia and, with Dr. Scott Gitlin, chair of the Committee on Training Programs, met with Mexican hematology training program directors.
Dr. Berliner’s participation at the AMEH meeting underscored the efforts ASH has undertaken in learning more about its neighbors in Mexico. Mexican members face a unique situation within ASH: Similar to Canadians, Mexicans may become Active members of the Society. However, they tend not to have the same level of engagement as their Canadian counterparts. As a result, the ASH Executive Committee tasked volunteers with learning more about the state of hematology and hematologists in Mexico.
One of the first steps in this process was to learn more about the hematology pipeline. “We initiated a dialogue with leading academic hematologists in Mexico to determine where ASH could best contribute to the education and professional development of hematology trainees in Mexico,” Dr. Berliner said. At the Highlights of ASH® meeting in Miami in February 2009, ASH leadership met with Mexican training program directors to learn more about hematology training in Mexico and the needs of Mexican training programs and hematologists, and to discuss collaboration. As a result of those discussions, ASH will send speakers to the annual hematology board review course in Mexico to teach portions of the two-day class in February 2010. Topics will include lymphoma, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), and myeloma. Additionally, trainees studying for the boards will receive complimentary copies of ASH educational materials, including the ASH Self-Assessment Program.
Last May, the relationship was strengthened even further when AMEH partnered with ASH to promote the inaugural Highlights of ASH in Latin America. ASH sponsored four trainees from Mexico to attend Highlights, but unfortunately AMEH officials were forced to postpone their participation due to concerns about the H1N1 virus. Subsequently, ASH and AMEH have made it a goal to jointly sponsor Mexican trainee participation at Highlights of ASH, so that each trainee will have the opportunity to attend at least one Highlights meeting during their training program.
During the AMEH conference in August, more than 30 hematologists and trainees applied to become members of ASH. “We are delighted to see this level of interest in getting involved with ASH,” Dr. Berliner said. We anticipate that this will lead to stronger ties to the hematology community in Mexico.”
Visit the ASH booth, #129, to learn more about opportunities for hematologists around the world.
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