Edmonton, AB- Most people accessing the health care system have no idea they exist, yet medical classification systems are critical components of patient care. And while the task of ‘classifying’ anything seems like it should be simple enough, in reality the creation of these schemes are complex, involved, and ever-evolving. This June, scientists and doctors from around the world will gather at the 11th Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology in Paris, France to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the creation of one of the most important classificatory schemes to be developed in recent years.
In 1991 Edmonton’s Dr. Kim Solez along with fellow pathologists met in Banff, Alberta to carve out classification system for kidney transplantation pathology. The Banff Classification system – which has since expanded to include transplant pathology for a variety of organs – has standardized the examination of transplant biopsies ensuring, that each pathologist looking under the microscope understands the results, and communicate those results in the same way.
“To someone on the outside, a classification system may not seem like a big deal – but nothing could be further from the truth. Think of it this way: if you’re sick and need to see a doctor, you’d make sure they speak the same language as you, right? Well, without standardized classifications in medicine, essentially every doctor the world-over is trying to talk about the same problem using a completely different language,” explains conference director Dr. Solez. “The Banff system of classification helps to ensure that everyone working in transplantation is speaking a common language. Not only does this help ensure the best level of care for patients, but it also ensures that scientific advances can occur more quickly because everyone’s on the same page, medically speaking.”
The benefits of creating and implementing this classificatory system extend into a huge variety of medical realms: from determining treatment plans and assessing their risks, to influencing the research priorities of scientists, to helping assess the outcomes of clinical trials, and even extending to the legislation and regulation of medicine. This year’s conference will play an important role in further advancing the system and helping carve out transplant research priorities for the future.
For more information on the 11th Banff Conference on Allopathic Pathology visit: http://cybernephrology.ualberta.ca/banff/2011/index.htm
To find out more about Dr. Kim Solez and his work visit http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=110628148961395
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