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Cytology – Review of the Basic Principles


February 02 2023


10:00 am - 11:15 am


Cytopathology is often the first and on occasion, the only specimen available for morphologic examination of a clinical disease (e.g. lung mass) or subclinical disease (gynecologic Papanicolaou test). Patient management often hinges on diagnostic (e.g. morphologic and immunohistochemical characterization), prognostic and predictive information (e.g. molecular test) gleaned from small samples. Hence, an educated approach and judicious use of ancillary tests is critical to ascertain a diagnosis and avoid common diagnostic pitfalls in cytology samples. The session will focus on key concepts in cytopathology, in addition to raising awareness to common diagnostic pitfalls encountered in a variety of body sites and how to avoid these in the exam setting and in clinical practice. The information is primarily intended for trainees in their final years of training in Anatomical and General Pathology prior to the RCPSC certification examination. 

At the end of the sessions, participants will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate an up-to-date diagnostic knowledge in cytopathology.
  • Be aware of common diagnostic pitfalls in cytopathology.
  • Describe pertinent cytopathology quality assurance practices in Canada.

Target Audience: Residents

CanMEDS Roles: Medical Expert (the integrating role), Communicator, Health Advocate, Scholar, Professional