Survey of medical training in cytopathology carried out by the journal Cytopathology

D. Anshu, A. Herbert*, B. Cochand-Priollet, P. Cross, M. Desai, R. Dina, J. Duskova, A. Evered, A. Farnsworth, W. Gray, S. S. Gupta, K. Kapila, I. Kardum-Skelin, V. Kloboves-Prevodnik, T. K. Kobayashi, H. Koutselini, W. Olszewski, B. Onal, M. B. Pitman, Z. MarinsekT. Sauer, U. Schenck, F. Schmitt, I. Shabalova, J. H. F. Smith, E. Tani, L. Vass, P. Vielh, H. Wiener

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    This report of the Editorial Advisory Board of Cytopathology gives the results of a survey of medical practitioners in cytopathology, which aimed to find out their views on the current situation in undergraduate and postgraduate training in their institutions and countries. The results show that training in cytopathology and histopathology are largely carried out at postgraduate level and tend to be organized nationally rather than locally. Histopathology was regarded as essential for training in cytopathology by 89.5% of respondents and was mandatory according to 83.1%. Mandatory cytopathology sections of histopathology were reported by 67.3% and specific examinations in cytopathology by 55.4%. The main deficiencies in training were due to its variability; there were insufficient numbers of pathologists interested in cytology and a consequent lack of training to a high level of competence. Pathologists without specific training in cytopathology signed out cytology reports according to 54.7% of responses, more often in centres where training was 3-6 months or less duration. Although 92.2% of respondents thought that specialist cytology should not be reported by pathologists without experience in general cytopathology, that practice was reported by 30.9%, more often in centres with small workloads. The survey report recommends that 6-12 months should be dedicated to cytopathology during histopathology training, with optional additional training for those wanting to carry out independent practice in cytopathology. Formal accreditation should be mandatory for independent practice in cytopathology. When necessary, temporary placements to centres of good practice should be available for trainees intending to practise independently in cytopathology. There should be adequate numbers of pathologists trained in cytopathology to a high level of competence; some of their time could be released by training cytotechnologists and trainee pathologists to prescreen cytology slides and assess adequacy of fine-needle aspiration samples when immediate diagnosis was not required. The survey demonstrated a clear need for European and international guidelines for training in cytopathology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-156
    Number of pages10
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


    • medical training in cytopathology
    • international survey
    • accreditation
    • postgraduate training
    • cytopathology examinations


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