American Society of Hematology
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|Motto||Helping hematologists conquer blood diseases|
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is a professional organization representing hematologists. It was founded in 1958. Its annual meeting is held in December of every year and has attracted nearly 20,000 attendees. The society publishes the medical journal Blood, one of the most cited peer-review publications in hematology.
The first official ASH meeting was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in April 1958. More than 300 hematologists met together to discuss the key research and clinical issues related to blood and blood diseases. Since the first gathering, ASH has been an important member in the development of hematology as a discipline. For more than five decades, ASH has sponsored its annual meeting. Today, ASH has more than 14,000 members, many of whom have made major advancements in understanding and treating blood diseases.
ASH's mission statement
The American Society of Hematology is dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.
What is a hematologist?
A hematologist is a physician or researcher who specializes in blood diseases. Hematologists work to understand, diagnose, and treat various blood diseases, including blood clots, different types of anemias, leukemia, and lymphoma. When a doctor suspects a patient is suffering from an illness related to a blood disease, he or she may refer that patient to a hematologist.
Defining the American hematologist
Since its founding, ASH has played an important role in defining the standards of training and certifications for the American hematologist. The following is ASH's statement of the necessary elements of training and certification for American hematologists as well as the professional expertise that defines all hematologists.
The American hematologist
A hematologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and/or investigation of disorders of the hematopoietic, hemostatic, and lymphatic systems, and disorders of the interaction between blood and the blood vessel wall. An American hematologist has trained in a subspecialty program approved by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Pediatrics, or has acquired a comparable education in the field by alternate means, and is Board Certified (or eligible) in the subspecialty of hematology.
Diagnostic expertise of a hematologist
A hematologist is expert in the investigation, diagnosis, and management of disorders of the aforementioned organ systems through the use of the medical history, physical findings, specialized clinical laboratory tests, and evaluation of tissue or cytological specimens. Clinical entities considered specific to the specialty of hematology include disorders of the structure, function, and physiology of red and white blood cells and platelets, disorders of hemostatic system regulation or function, and benign and malignant disorders of the bone marrow and lymphoreticular system. Hematologists also evaluate and manage systemic disorders and other poorly understood diseases that clinically present as abnormalities of the aforementioned organ systems.
Therapeutic expertise of a hematologist
In addition to therapeutic measures common to all medical specialists, therapies in the following areas are considered specific to the expertise of a hematologist:
- Blood products and derivatives
- Blood processing
- Chemotherapy and other anti-tumor agents
- Supportive care (including pain management)
- Anticoagulants and antithrombotic agents
- Progenitor cell therapies (including stem
Investigative/Educational/Administrative expertise of a hematologist
Training in hematology equips the hematologist to focus efforts on clinical investigative, epidemiological, or research laboratory-based approaches to issues and processes that bear directly or indirectly on disorders and therapies referred to above. In addition, the expertise of the hematologist provides the basis for medical or administrative leadership of clinical laboratory organizations related to the above (e.g. clinical and special hematology laboratories, coagulation laboratories, blood banks, or related entities). Hematologists are especially qualified to conduct or participate in educational programs related to their areas of expertise for physicians, students, and other health care workers.
Held each year in December, the annual meeting brings together hematologists from around the world to discuss critical issues in hematology. During the four-day meeting, several cutting-edge educational programs and scientific sessions are held. The annual meeting also features oral and poster presentations that are chosen by peer-reviewers from abstracts submitted prior to the meeting and contain the latest developments in scientific research. Plenary symposia and named lectures on specialized areas of hematology are also presented throughout the meeting program. More than 21,000 clinicians, scientists, and others attend, making the annual meeting a premier forum for hematology.
- Blood, Journal of the American Society of Hematology
Find a hematologist
Find a Hematologist is a service made available by ASH. Both patients looking for hematologists in their community and medical professionals who want to make referrals can benefit from this tool. Users may search by name, location, specialty, or clinical interest, and will be provided with contact information for hematologists meeting the search criteria. More than 2,200 specialists from 70 countries are currently listed.