Cytopathology Fellowship

Program Overview

The Cytopathology Fellowship centers around patient care responsibilities leading to excellence in the field of cytopathology. In addition to service responsibilities, cytopathology fellows assist in the overall training of residents in cytopathology, particularly during microscopic sign-out sessions and in the performance and interpretation of fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) specimens.

During the one year fellowship, the individual microscopically evaluates abnormal Pap tests, body cavity fluid specimens, and FNAB specimens prior to their sign-out by the attending cytopathologist. Fellows are initially trained in the performance of FNAB, and after competence is attained, perform the technique independently. As diagnostic skills are mastered, fellows are allowed to give preliminary FNAB results to clinicians prior to their showing the cases to faculty. The fellow spends approximately 15% of his/her time on the surgical pathology consult service to hone his/her surgical pathology skills as we believe excellence in surgical pathology facilitates mastery of cytopathology. The practical learning is enhanced with didactic lectures (given by faculty and fellows), journal clubs, unknown cases, online teaching modules, and hands-on experience in the HPV and cytology preparatory laboratories. Numerous opportunities in departmental research activities are available; involvement in research activities is encouraged but is not mandatory. The goal is for the fellows to finish the year with a strong grasp of diagnostics, laboratory management, and federal regulations involved in managing an academic or community hospital based cytopathology laboratory.