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January 2007
PAP/NGC Programs Review

Mary R. Schwartz, MD

Beginning last year, enrollment in the CAP gynecologic (Pap) and nongynecologic cytopathology (NGC) Interlaboratory Comparison Programs included an online program, with four online programs per year in each Interlaboratory Comparison Program (that is, four gyn and four nongyn cases).

The new technologies in this enhancement allow participants to see unusual or diagnostically challenging cases. Each case includes educational questions with immediate feedback available online. The focal point of each of these online programs is a digitized slide. The virtual microscopy used in these cases simulates microscopic examination and includes the ability to move the slide, change objectives, and focus.

This year participants in the online educational program are given two options of viewing the slide on which the program is centered. They can use the technology provided in the program to review the digitized slide, or they can click on a series of representative still images of the slide. Some participants may find viewing the still images of the slide faster and easier than manipulating the digitized slide.

To participate in the online educational programs all you need is the Pap or NGC kit number and a computer with an Internet connection. You can do it from your lab or your office or in the comfort of your home, at a time convenient for you.


Dr. Schwartz, a member of the CAP Cytopathology Committee, is director of anatomic pathology, The Methodist Hospital, Houston.