The Irish Neuropathological Association
The Irish Neuropathological Association is an active but small society having only 5-6 members. Irish neuropathologists are also members of the British Neuropathology Society and of the American Association of Neuropathologists and contribute to both the British and American meetings in addition to meeting with each other on a regular basis.
Neuropathology Training and Recognition by the Medical Council
Since the commencement of a specialist neuropathology training programme in Ireland we have had two successful trainee graduates – Dr Bermingham (now a Consultant Neuropathologist in Cork) and Dr Michael Jansen (now a Consultant Neuropathologist in Dubai). We have one trainee who is currently doing an out of service programme in Harvard gaining experience in Pediatric Neuropathology. She is due to return to Dublin in July 2014 to finish her training and take her FRCPath. Professor Catherine Keohane retired as Consultant Neuropathologist in Cork University Hospital in February 2012. Her post has been filled by Dr Valerie Critcher. We are hopeful that we will now be able to resume a regular review meeting for interesting or difficult cases to be held approximately four times a year. We are also planning to set up a regular pediatric brain tumour review for all our pediatric brain tumours.
Neuropathology is recognized as a specialty by the Irish Medical Council. The Medical Council of Ireland is the statutory body for recognition of specialties and maintains the Specialist Register, where Neuropathology is also a part of. Irish neuropathologists have many and varied work commitments including routine diagnostic work, under- and post-graduate teaching, research and participation in brain banking and CJD surveillance.
Neuropathology training requirements include two years of general histopathology completed (the second of which has been spent as SPR (specialist registrar), followed by 3 years of specialist training. An optional year may be spent in an allied neuroscience discipline.
A description of the Requirements for Neuropathology Training in Ireland is available for download.
Informal meetings are held on a regular basis for review of diagnostically challenging cases and for continuing medical education. Irish neuropathologists have been at the forefront of the development and growth of the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience [ www.iicn.ie] and are key participants in the annual meetings of the Irish Neurological Association. It is hoped that the number of consultant neuropathologists will increase in the near future in order to cope with the additional work created by rapidly expanding neurosurgical and neurological services in Ireland and with a revival in autopsy pathology.