Cytopathology Fellowship

Overview

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 11 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 workup of core biopsy specimens, allowing integration and correlation of surgical pathology findings with 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. Cerner is the current LIS, but is scheduled to be replaced by EPIC Beaker in 2019.

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

Fellows are expected to pre-view all cases and provide preliminary diagnoses / differentials when reviewing the case with the assigned attending. Throughout the day, fellows also field calls from radiology for FNA and core biopsy adequacy assessment and from clinical teams for FNA requests. Each afternoon, the fellow is given Paps which will be reviewed with an attending the next day. Additional fellow responsibilities include:

  • Monthly FNA interesting case conference for rotating residents
  • Monthly Rad-Path conference presentations
  • Monthly journal club presentations
  • Completion of a quality improvement project
  • Completion of one or more scholarly activities such as abstract presentation or article submission
  • Daily informal teaching/mentoring for rotating residents and medical students

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Research

The fellow is expected to participate in one or more research projects related to Cytopathology, to submit and present the abstracts to national scientific meetings, and to publish the data in pathology/biomedical journals.

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Requirements

Prospective candidates must have completed an ACGME-accredited residency in anatomic pathology, must be board eligible or board certified in anatomic or anatomic and clinical pathology by the American Board of Pathology, and must be eligible for a medical license to practice in Texas by the beginning of the Fellowship Program. At this time we do not accept H1B visas.

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Benefits

  • Financial support to attend conferences
  • Educational funds
  • Laptop
  • Additional benefits dependent upon program

Fellowship Faculty

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