The goal of the fellowship program is to provide extensive experience and develop special competence in Cytopathology, including cyto-preparatory technique and stains, interpretation of gynecologic and non-gynecologic cytology specimens, the performance of fine needle aspiration, rapid on-site interpretation of fine needle aspirates, and issues related to CLIA regulations and quality control. This 12-month training program is divided to allow progressive learning and graded responsibility so that in the last six months, the fellow will move from being competent to proficient and are able to function independently.
In order to achieve these goals, the program will be structured as follows:
- First Phase: One month introductory rotation (Novice to advanced beginner). During this phase the fellows are introduced to different aspects of cytopathology, laboratory policies and provided with the foundation needed to acquire more advanced knowledge (direct supervision for all duties). At the completion of this phase, the fellows should be able to transition to some autonomy in their daily duties.
- Second Phase: Five months to develop cytopathology knowledge (advanced beginner to competent). During this phase the fellows continue to build on the skills acquired in the first months, engage in extensive reading program and didactic conferences. Fellows should engage in a research program and start collecting data and review literature. During this phase the fellows have some autonomy in reviewing benign and non-diagnostic cases without one-on-one review with faculty (indirect supervision)
- Third Phase: Last six months to reinforce knowledge and develop expertise and proficiency in cytopathology (competent to proficient/independent practitioner). During this phase the fellows acquire higher knowledge necessary to function as a proficient cytopathologists and are required to get more involved with laboratory management. The fellow should be finalizing the research project and working on the manuscript which should be completed and submitted prior to graduation. During this phase the fellows are offered more graduated responsibilities within compliance boundaries e.g. only review selected cases with faculty (indirect supervision).
This hands-on experience has to be complemented by extensive and systematic reading plan utilizing available text books and on-line literature.