Christine N. Booth, MD
Rosemary H. Tambouret, MD
The brisk autumn air of New England greeted the pathologists and cytotechnologists who attended the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of Cytopathology that was held in November 2010 in Boston.
The main program of the first day, the Program Faculty Seminar, was devoted to cytotechnology and cytopathology educators with the theme of regionalizing cytotechnology education. Amy Clayton, MD, of Mayo Clinic, gave the talk that provoked the most interest. She presented a new model for the expansion of cytotechnologist work into molecular pathology and Mayo Clinic’s new cytotechnologist career ladder. Marilee Means, SCT(ASCP), PhD, of the University of Kansas Medical Center, presented the newly developed molecular pathology curriculum for cytotechnology programs, which was recently made available on the ASC Web site.
Highlights of the cytopathologist educators session were a glimpse of the ACGME changes in store for cytopathology fellowship training programs, presented by Diane Davey, MD, of the American Board of Pathology and director of cytopathology, University of Central Florida College of Medicine; a talk by Patricia Wasserman, MD, chief of cytopathology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, to rally program directors behind the effort to institute a pathology fellowship match; and an update by Claire Michael, MD, director of cytopathology, University of Michigan Hospital, on the Progressive Evaluation of Competency exam in cytopathology for residents and fellows, offered by the ASC.
New to the meeting were past presidents’ rounds during which six past presidents of the ASC offered their personal tips for navigating professional problems, as well as their pearls of wisdom.
Platform presentations covered the following hot topics: cervical cytology screening practices, quality assurance and ancillary testing, the career ladder at Mayo Clinic, aspects of FNA including the performance of thyroid FNA in liquid-based preparations, second opinions, molecular testing of lung samples, the 88172 billing code, and ultrasound-guided FNAs performed by pathologists. The meeting included two special invited lecturers. Sean Carr, MBA, director of corporate innovation programs at the University of Virginia and a well-known news program producer on CNN and ABC, gave an energizing talk on entrepreneurship. The world-renowned Alfred Knudson, MD, was honored with the Leopold Koss Lectureship and spoke on work in the domain of cellular mechanisms in hereditary cancer, including his own work on retinoblastoma.
David Wilbur, MD, received the ASC Papanicolaou award and in return gave a memorable recount of his growth as a cytopathologist, from the commencement of his training with Stanley Patten, MD, who famously said, “There is no cytology east of the Hudson,” to his professorship at Massachusetts General Hospital, where years ago Ruth Graham worked to initiate widespread cervical cytology screening. Daily panel sessions addressed topics of interest to the pathology community: molecular diagnostics in cytology, implementation and use of the Bethesda system for reporting thyroid fine-needle aspirates, and CPT coding for cytology cases.
Dr. Booth, a member of the CAP Cytopathology Committee, is associate residency director, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Tambouret is a member of the CAP Cytopathology Committee and cytopathology fellowship director, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.