Michael Laposata, MD, PhD

2012 ASCP H.P. Smith Award for Distinguished Pathology Educator

“(The first Resident Review Course) was pretty exciting. I believe we accomplished our mission to create better pathologists with the Resident Review Course.”
—Michael Laposata, MD, PhD

Michael Laposata, MD, PhD, FASCP, has been a dynamic force in establishing and leading the ASCP Resident Review Course. For the very first course—an impromptu, trial run in Boston during the 1990s—Laposata brought in speakers from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he worked. Organizers informally put tables and chairs together in a conference room and charged attendees $25. The response was overwhelming; pathology residents filled the room to capacity.

“It was pretty exciting,” Dr. Laposata said. “I believe we accomplished our mission to create better pathologists with the Resident Review Course.”

He has continued as a leader of the program, teaching and directing many of the courses which are now important preparation for pathology residents preparing for the American Board of Pathology exam. He has been a Course Director since 2005. In recognition of his contributions to medical education, Dr. Laposata is receiving the H.P. Smith Award for Distinguished Pathology Educator. The award honors the legacy of H.P. Smith, MD, an accomplished ASCP Fellow and past President, and is presented to ASCP Fellow members who have led a distinguished career in pathology and laboratory medicine, embracing education, research, administration, and service to organized pathology.

"Dr. Laposata is an outstanding teacher and a strong advocate for the field of laboratory medicine,” said William E. Schreiber, MD, FASCP, Chair of ASCP’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development. “He combined both of these talents when he created a Review Course for residents and pathologists in the Boston area. This course was the prototype for the ASCP Resident Review Course, which he continued to lead for many years."

Currently, Dr. Laposata is the Edward and Nancy Fody Professor of Pathology and Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn., as well as Pathologist-in-Chief at Vanderbilt University Hospital and Director of Clinical Laboratories there. Previously, he was the Director of Clinical Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and Professor of Pathology at Harvard University Medical School, Boston.

Active with ASCP since 1989, Dr. Laposata has served as an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology and taught dozens of ASCP educational programs. For his service to the Society, he received the Ward Burdick Award for Distinguished Service to Clinical Pathology in 2005.

Over the years, Dr. Laposata has received 14 major teaching prizes from Harvard University Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he accepted his first faculty position. During the late 1990s, Harvard Medical School recognized him with its Distinguished Mentoring Award.

Dr. Laposata earned his medical and doctorate degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. Of all his accomplishments, he said his most important role is that of father. He has a daughter at Columbia University, New York, a son at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and a son in high school.