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Cytology – Review of the Basic Principles


January 14 2022


10:00 am - 11:15 am


  • Dr. Joerg Schwock
    Dr. Joerg Schwock

    Dr. Schwock is assistant professor at the University of Toronto and staff pathologist at the University Health Network. He pursued studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany as well as the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Schwock obtained RCPSC certification in Anatomical Pathology, DRCPSC status (Cytopathology) and a fellowship of The International Academy of Cytology.


Cytopathology is often the first and on occasion the only available method for morphological assessment of a disease manifest (e.g. lung mass) or subclinical disease process (e.g. Papanicolaou test). Clinical patient management relies heavily on the information gleaned from often quantitatively small samples. Ancillary studies to obtain prognostic and predictive data have increasingly become an integral part of modern cytopathology practice and are often clinically expected as an inseparable part of diagnostic reporting.

The accuracy of the disease classification/specific cytopathological diagnosis depends chiefly on (1) the quality of the sample (including technical specimen preparation), (2) the proficiency of the pathologist who is tasked with the morphological evaluation, (3) the integration of clinical information, and -finally- (4) the generation of a clinically meaningful and actionable report.

To facilitate preparation for the final milestone of residency training in Canada, this session is intended to equip the participants with the necessary resources in order to quickly and effectively recapitulate already acquired knowledge and gain (or re-gain) confidence in the interpretation of cytological preparations. The session will also focus on potential sources of diagnostic errors and sources of misinterpretation with suggestions on how these can be avoided both in the exam setting as well as in clinical practice. The information provided 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:

  • Use appropriate resources to adequately prepare for the Cytology section of the RCPSC exam
  • Demonstrate an up-to-date diagnostic knowledge in cytopathology
  • Demonstrate knowledge of quality assurance and improvement principles in cytology

Target Audience


CanMEDS Roles

Medical Expert (the integrating role)