(ASOCIACI�N MEXICANA DE BIOQU�MICA CLINICA, AMBC)
By Rosa I. Sierra-Amor, AMBC President
The Mexican Association of Clinical Biochemistry is a non-profit organization founded in 1963 that promotes the profession through developing and improving the clinical biochemistry field. Our principal strategic initiatives are to encourage clinical investigation, teaching, and postgraduate studies among our membership at both the national and regional levels. Our association serves a large membership of professionals from the 32 States of Mexico, including fifteen affiliated societies and eight affiliated student sections. Full membership has three different categories: professionals, industry, and young scientists. The majority of the members are clinical biochemists (graduates, specialists, masters and doctoral degrees in laboratory sciences). In Mexico, the clinical biochemistry syllabus is a 9 semester program taught by the Faculty of Chemistry. There are 43 faculties teaching clinical biochemistry nationwide, but the syllabus varies according to the level of expertise. All students have to do six - twelve months social service in a governmental institution, or private or at any other related healthcare organization. Specialization is a two-year training program including laboratory stays in any field of laboratory medicine. There are also clinical biochemistry postgraduate programs available at the masters level in several universities in the country; for doctoral degrees, students have to develop research projects in clinical laboratory sciences linked to medicine or pharmacy fields.
AMBC membership elects the Executive Board by a democratic ballot. The Executive Board (EB) is formed by the President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, and three Commissions, on Publications, Technical, and Honor and Justice. The term of office is two years. Reelection is allowed for one more year. The EB designates delegates to work on any of the five working groups on proficiency testing programs, in clinical laboratory accreditation and in traceability. The board also designates the IFCC National representative. An initiative is being developed to look into certification of laboratory professionals in conjunction with a Council formed by several professional organizations in Mexico.
These include publishing a scientific journal, Bioquimia, every three months, which is the only journal devoted to the clinical laboratory recognized by the National Council of Research and Technology (CONACYT), and a bimonthly bulletin. We offer continuing education workshops, basic courses and university recognized advance courses, monthly scientific sessions, and a proficiency-testing program, "PEEC AMBC-Digitalpt", in six different disciplines to subscribed clinical laboratories. This program started in 1985 with the support of the Wolfson Research Laboratory from the United Kingdom and the IFCC. In 2004, the program was linked in an alliance of cooperation with HealthMetrx Canada Inc., AccuTest in the USA and the National Reference Laboratory in Australia, improving the quality of the information systems, which included a reengineering format in statistical analysis and "a state of the art", Internet based technology. In December 2005, AMBC requested the recognition of the PEEC AMBC Digitalpt program under ISO Guide 43-1 by the Mexican Entity of Accreditation. AMBC also owns a library of national and international journals, which is a complementary service for the membership. Up to now, AMBC has organized twenty nine National Congresses in Clinical Biochemistry under the auspices of IFCC and COLABIOCLI, along with the participation of the Minister of Health authorities and universities. Every year at the annual meeting, three Awards are granted, the Bayer Mexico Award to the best clinical biochemistry dissertation project; the Laboratory Dr Moreira Award to a clinical laboratory that achieves a Total Quality System; and, the Laboratory Oriart Award to the best poster presentation in three different disciplines. AMBC has developed agreements of cooperation with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), and the Mexican Entity of Accreditation (EMA) among others.
AMBC MEMBERSHIP AND INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES.
AMBC is a full member society of the IFCC since 1968, and of the Latin American Confederation of Clinical Biochemistry (COLABIOCLI) since 1973. In the IFCC, AMBC members have held the Treasurer position (1985-1987) and EB Member positions (1997-2002), and has had representation in different IFCC Working Groups as members and associated members. In COLABIOCLI, AMBC members held the Presidency (1993-1995) and recently were elected as EB Member (2006-2007). AMBC organized the X IFCC International Congress in 1978, the IX Latin American Congress in Clinical Biochemistry in 1993, and the VIII International Congress on Automation and New Technology in 2000 in collaboration with the Spanish Society of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Pathology. AMBC holds the representation at the Subcommittee 47 of the General Department of Standards at the Secretary of Economy in Mexico. At the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), AMBC is member of the ISO 15189 TC212/WG1.
With the Diagnostic in vitro industry, AMBC collaborates in continuing education and PT programs, accreditation and traceability task forces. This year, AMBC will hold an international conference in Quality sponsored by the industry, with auspices by IFCC, and in conjunction with other national and regional clinical laboratory organizations.
For more information, contact the AMBC at