Pathologists Splinter From Army Institute to Form Company

More than two dozen pathologists have left the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington, D.C., to form a new company that will offer the same pathology consultation services as the 150-year-old institute.

AFIP is expected to close by 2011 under a federal plan to shut down several military bases around the country including the Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus, where AFIP is located. The company, which originally called itself AFIP Laboratories and has renamed itself American International Pathology (AIP) Laboratories following a protest from institute officials, will be headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, and will begin operations next month.

Evan Farmer, the director of the company and a former AFIP fellow, told The Washington Post that the company's goal is to provide a new home for the institute's expertise. But AFIP officials say that a new Congressionally-mandated Joint Pathology Center, administered by the Department of Defense, will replace the institute after its closure.