Soon after the end of World War II, the possibility of founding a World Federation of Constituent Societies of Pathology was considered by a group of pathologists in London. From this discussion the International Society of Clinical Pathology was founded in Paris in September 1947.
The new Society, which had as members national societies of clinical pathology, (initially from France, the United Kingdom, Czechoslovakia, and Belgium), was governed by a House of Delegates representing its Constituent Societies, with a Bureau to serve as the Executive Committee of the House, a pattern of government which persists today.
Early in the development of the organization, at a meeting in Sheffield, England in 1948, it was agreed that the International Society should sponsor World Congresses of Pathology. The first was held in London, England in 1951, and World Congresses have followed in various locations throughout the world, the most recent in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada in 2013.
The name, the International Society, soon caused concern. The term Clinical Pathology had been intended to include all branches of pathology, viz., anatomical pathology, chemical pathology, hematology, microbiology and all their subspecialties. Unfortunately, in many countries the term Clinical Pathology was thought to exclude anatomical pathology, a problem which was compounded when the name was translated into languages other than English.
Because of this difficulty the name of the International Society of Clinical Pathology was changed in 1969 to the World Association of (Anatomical and Clinical) Pathology Societies – WAPS, and then revised to the World Association of Societies of Pathology (Anatomic and Clinical) – WASP. The Constitution and By-laws of the World Association were revised to emphasize its role in representing every aspect of pathology. The name was intended to emphasize that the World Association embraces every branch of Laboratory Medicine. To extend that emphasis, the name was further changed to the World Association of Societies of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (WASPaLM) at the World Congress in 1999 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Extensive revisions of the Constitution and By-laws followed and, in 2005, the World Association was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois in the United States, the By-laws becoming incorporated into the Articles of Incorporation.