The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) was founded in 1964 as a non-profit specialty society. The ASCCP has since served as the primary source of postgraduate colposcopy training not only in the United States, but globally.
Introduced to the United States in the early 1960s, colposcopy is the magnified inspection of the cervix and vagina. Colposcopy was initially practiced by those gynecologists receiving training directly from the early European and Australian colposcopists and by the gynecologists they trained.
During these early years, the majority of society members were gynecologists and GYN pathologists. Over time, other groups of health care providers such as family physicians, and advanced practice clinicians such as nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and nurse midwives became interested in and adopted the use of colposcopy for their patients. This resulted in a continuing need for training clinical providers to perform colposcopy, and over time, improve their knowledge and skills. Within the last 15 years, U.S. obstetrics-gynecology and family practice residency training programs turned to the ASCCP for their didactic colposcopy training needs. So not only was the ASCCP offering continuing medical education courses, but the ASCCP consistently provided opportunities for physicians in training to receive basic graduate education courses in colposcopy followed by practical exposure in their residency programs.
Today, the ASCCP’s educational programs, both Continuing Medical Education (CME) and non-CME activities, center around seven major activities:
- Live meetings (e.g., postgraduate programs, procedural workshops, and the annual meeting)
- The Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease
- Online CME programs
- Mentorship training program and examinations of colposcopic proficiency in knowledge and biopsy placement
- Resident education program including a national online residents’ examination
- Continually updated website with focused educational and practice management content
While ASCCP’s original purpose was educating and training clinicians to use colposcopy to evaluate and manage cervical neoplasia, for almost 25 years, ASCCP’s goal has been to improve clinician competence, performance and patient outcomes through educational activities focused around the study, prevention, diagnosis, and management of lower genital tract disorders.
ASCCP Code of Ethics
IFCPC (All active ASCCP members are automatically members of the International Federation for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy (IFCPC). For more information about the Federation, its mission, other national societies, and the 2017 World Congress in Orlando, please visit http://www.ifcpc.org)