The Role of WASPaLM is summarized in the agreed Mission and Goals
To improve health throughout the world by promoting the teaching and practice of all aspects of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Soon after the end of World War II, the possibility of founding a World Federation of Constituent Societies of Pathology was mooted by a group of Pathologists in London, and after further discussion the International Society of Clinical Pathology was founded in Paris in September 1947.
The new Society, which had as members national societies of clinical pathology, initially from France, the United Kingdom, Czechoslovakia, and Belgium, was governed by a House of Delegates representing its Constituent Societies, with a Bureau to serve as the Executive Committee of the House, a pattern of government which persists today.
Early in the development of the organization, at a meeting in Sheffield, England in 1948, it was agreed that the International Society should sponsor World Congresses of Pathology.
The first was held in London, England, in 1951, and World Congresses have followed in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. (1954); Brussels, Belgium (1957); Madrid, Spain (1960); Mexico City, Mexico (1963); Rome, Italy (1966); Montreal, Canada (1969); Munich, West Germany (1972); Sydney, Australia (1975); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1978); Jerusalem, Israel (1981); Tokyo, Japan (1983); Brighton, England (1985); Washington D.C., U.S.A. (1987); Florence, Italy (1989); Vancouver, Canada (1991); Acapulco, Mexico (1993); Auckland, New Zealand (1995); Versailles, France (1997 50th Anniversary); Sao Paulo, Brazil (1999); Dusseldorf, Germany (2001); and Busan, Korea (2003). Future World Congresses are planned for Istanbul, Turkey (2005), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2007), and Sydney, Australia (2009).
The title of the International Society soon gave trouble. The term Clinical Pathology had been intended to include all branches of pathology, viz., anatomical pathology, chemical pathology, haematology, microbiology and all their subspecialities.
Unfortunately, in many countries the term Clinical Pathology was thought to exclude anatomical pathology, a problem which was compounded when the name was translated into languages other than English.
Because of this difficulty the name of the International Society of Clinical Pathology was changed in 1969 to the World Association of (Anatomical and Clinical) Pathology Societies - WAPS, and then revised to the World Association of Societies of Pathology (Anatomic and Clinical) - WASP. The Constitution and By-laws of the World Association were revised, to emphasize its role in representing every aspect of pathology. The name was intended to emphasize that the World Association embraces every branch of Laboratory Medicine. To extend that emphasis, the name was further changed to the World Association of Societies of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (WASPaLM) at the World Congress in 1999, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The history and the goals of the Società Italiana di Medicina di Laboratorio is consistent with those of WASPaLM. The continuous change and refinement of the name of WASP towards the best definition of the role of the Laboratory in Medicine is similar to that of the birth and development of SIMeL.
At present there are 27 Societies, Colleges or Associations in 18 countries involved with WASPaLM. (http://www.waspalm.org/ date of consultation 29.3.2007)
The World Association has become increasingly active in international affairs, representing pathology at the World Health Organisation, serving on the Council of International Organisations in the Medical Sciences, and establishing relations with other international bodies.
An important aspect of the work of the World Association has been the development of a number of Categorical Secretariats and Committees, each with a Constituent Pathology Society or College taking a particular responsibility on an international footing.