Duration: 1 Week

The cytopathology division analyzes cell “smears” and cellular preparations rather than tissue sections for diagnoses.
The foundation for cytopathology is cervical/vaginal preparations or Pap tests. The Pap test, a screening test for cervical squamous cell carcinoma has been a great success, dropping the death rate of cervical cancer in women by 70% since its widespread implemenation.

Fine needle aspirations (FNA’s) utilize cells aspirated from a thin needle to make diagnoses. FNA’s have grown and expanded as a tool for diagnosis of deep and superficial lesions. Deep lesion aspirations are performed by radiologist or clinicians specializing in the collection of diagnostic material from internal organs, while superficial lesions can be obtained using only palpation by the clinician or cytopathologist.

The student will be given reading assignments to obtain a basic understanding of the diagnostic principles. He or she will go with the cytotechnologist to view the collection and preparation of cytologic material, and sit with the cytopathologist for the signing out of these cases.. Additional cases reviewed are body cavity fluids, urine and bronchial washings and brushes. At the end of the rotation the student should have a fundamental understanding of basic diagnostic criteria for the Pap test, common FNA’s, and body fluids. This rotation will especially benefit those students considering a specialization in pathology, obstetrics/gynecology, surgery or any subspecialty of surgery.