Cytopathology Fellowship

Aims Statement

  • The Cytopathology fellowship structure assures adequate exposure to the three major subdivisions of cytopathology (gynecologic, non-gynecologic and fine needle aspiration)
  • The cytology faculty provides supervision and teaching during rapid onsite evaluation, sign-out and finalization of cytology reports.
  • The fellowship provides training in technical and laboratory management skills as applies to cytopathology.
  • The fellows participate in multiple periodical conferences and presentations, including but not limited to, interesting cases presentations, radiology-cytopathology correlations, laboratory management conferences and journal clubs.
  • The fellows participate in quality improvement projects under the supervision of designated faculty members.
  • Our faculty members are engaged in multiple research projects and the fellows are invited and encouraged to participate/collaborate.


    This ACGME-accredited one-year Cytopathology Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System offers excellent training in all aspects of cytopathology. The teaching facilities are modern and highly functional. Fellows spend six months of the year at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, which was opened in December 2014 and has recently been designated “Best Hospital” in Dallas-Fort Worth. The other six months of the fellowship are served at Parkland Hospital, which was opened August 2015 and is one of the nation’s largest and busiest public hospitals.

    Each year, the department receives 45,000+ paps and 9,000+ non-gyn specimens. Fellows are instructed by a core group of 9 faculty, nearly all of whom also practice a surgical subspecialty. Compensation and benefits compare favorably to most similar programs.

    Through graduated participation in essential activities at two state-of-the-art teaching hospitals, fellows hone their skills and gain experience daily. Special emphasis is given to rapid on-site evaluation of FNA and core biopsy specimens through close cooperation between the Pathology laboratory, clinical services, and the Radiology Department. Fellows typically participate in several adequacy assessments each day. Through performance of fine needle aspirations, the fellow becomes proficient both in the aspiration techniques and in the interpretation of aspirated material.

    Service duties also include review and triage of core biopsy specimens, allowing integration and correlation of surgical pathology findings and cytology findings. When preparing case materials for review, the service makes liberal use of both air-dried Diff-Quik® and alcohol-fixed Papanicolaou stains. ThinPrep preparations are typically made for paps, urines, thyroids, body fluids and anal paps, among others.

    With increasing levels of responsibility commensurate with experience, the fellow will participate in the services, teaching, and research activities of the laboratory. The Cytopathology Fellowship Program emphasizes achievement of diagnostic competence by acquiring sound diagnostic and procedural skills, developing professional communication skills, and utilizing these skills to develop positive interactions with other physicians. The fellow is expected to participate in laboratory quality control and understand the basics of laboratory management to positively impact patient care. As they craft their reports, fellows will gain experience and proficiency with a modern and well-integrated laboratory information system.

    For completion of the Cytopathology Fellowship Program, the fellow is expected to demonstrate excellence in exfoliative and FNA cytology diagnosis, reliable bedside determination of specimen adequacy, competent performance of superficial FNAs, and skill with appropriate ancillary test selection. Fellows are expected to perform diagnostically at a high level, with the confidence to change and disagree with the screening technologists and/or ability to defend their diagnoses, with support from current scientific literature as needed. At the end of training, graduates are typically well-prepared for independent practice of Cytopathology in any setting.

    Program Description