In Palm Springs, the world’s top pathologists are examining slides under microscopes and sharing their knowledge in real time with doctors and students around the globe.
Throughout the year, experts converge on downtown’s iconic Alan Ladd building, now called The Five Hundred (500 S. Palm Canyon Drive). They assemble in two microscopy labs, each outfitted with 17 personal-use microscopes and an 18-headed scope to teach courses in all subspecialties of anatomic pathology. They are the distinguished visiting faculty of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), which quietly took occupancy on two floors of the midcentury building and created a state-of-the-art interactive center to revolutionize the way doctors learn and communicate.
“The way people learn has changed dramatically,” says USCAP Executive Vice President Dr. David Kaminsky, the longtime former chairman of the Department of Pathology at Eisenhower Medical Center who later launched a private practice to focus on surgical pathology and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy. He envisioned the USCAP venue as a place to create dynamic experiences for a new generation.
“Millennials learn digitally, on demand, on mobile devices. USCAP is providing expert content organized in modular units and delivered digitally with on-demand access.
“An interactive microscopy laboratory united digitally with a conference center and broadcast studio to create sophisticated educational products is unique in the United States,” he continues, adding that cameras and microphones capture everything the doctors see through the microscope and say to their students. “The center allows registrants from all over the world to be at the microscope with revered experts.”
The lecture theater doubles as an event space, accommodating 60 people seated and more than 100 standing. It’s also a sound stage with microphones embedded in octagonal “cloud” panels that appear to float overhead. With production lighting, speakers, and four remote-controlled zoom/tilt video cameras, the space allows every participant to be seen and heard as clearly and crisply as the presenter. Meanwhile, the presenter can look out to two confidence monitors showing the content of his or her presentation on a video wall supporting three 98-inch displays; the center panel is 3-D capable.
The adjacent three-camera broadcast studio, with its green screen and production lighting, enables high-quality interviews, talk shows, product demonstrations, and other programs. USCAP produces live webcasts and video teleconferences, and can edit and package the content for distribution.
Kaminsky, who accepted this year’s prestigious Maurice Goldblatt Award from the International Academy of Cytology in Yokohama, Japan, pioneered distance learning during his tenure at Eisenhower, first with a teleconference series for the American Society of Cytopathology and later with Africa Calls distance learning, which delivered continuing education to 21 medical sites in Africa.
USCAP offers the Palm Springs venue to other medical and business organizations that want to host, capture, and share their meetings, product launches, and training programs with a global audience. The cool gray and red interior features a wall of undulating white decorative acoustic ceramic tiles separating the pre-event space from the sound stage/event space, and an exhibit area offers a view of downtown Palm Springs and the San Jacinto Mountains.
“Palm Springs is the perfect location for USCAP Interactive Center,” Kaminsky says. “Our city attracts people from around the world for the international film festival, tennis, golf, and concerts. It’s a desirable area that will attract learners in medicine.”