College of American Pathologists

  Interlaboratory Comparison Program in
  Gynecologic Cytopathology


Updated July 11, 2006

The Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Gynecologic Cytopathology (PAP Education) is designed primarily for labs not subject to CLIA. It is as an opportunity for participants to assess their screening and interpretive skills and learn of new developments in Pap smear evaluation and quality improvement. This program provides a practical approach to continuing education and external quality assurance.

Each participating pathologist can earn a maximum of 12 CME (Category 1) credits for completion of an entire year. Cytotechnologists can earn a maximum of 12 CE credits/hours for completion of an entire year. The CE for the PAP Education program is approved by the following: American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) Continuing Education Credit (CECC) Program, International Academy of Cytology (IAC), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Registry (BOR) Certification Maintenance Program, and California and Florida.

This program uses referenced glass slide material (cervicovaginal smears) representing a variety of cytopathologic conditions affecting the female genital tract. Two times per year, five slides are mailed, which are to be returned to the College within 15 working days. The following program options, with different technology mixes, are available:

Conventional cervicovaginal cytopathology
SurePath™ gynecologic cytopathology
ThinPrep® gynecologic cytopathology

New this year, each shipment will also each contain instructions on accessing two online virtual microscopy cases (four per year), which use digital image technology to simulate the use of a microscope. Online images will diagnostic challenges and, where appropriate, ancillary information. Participants will be able to manipulate the images by scanning across the slide, moving between planes, and changing the magnification. Participants will receive immediate feedback as they select interpretations from a master list and answer case-related educational questions. The online cases can be accessed from any computer and internet connection (lab or home).

The PAP Education base program includes one laboratory response form. For each pathologist or cytotechnologist to participate in the 10-case glass-slide portion of the PAP Education program and obtain his/her own credits/hours, an APAP option (APAPCE1, APAPJE1, APAPKE1, APAPME1) should be ordered. The four online cases may be accessed and completed for two CME/CE credits by all staff in a participating institution independent of the number of APAP options ordered.

Ordering Information
To order PAP Education programs, call 800-323-4040 option 1 # to speak with a customer contact center representative. You can also download a copy of the PAP Education Program order form (PDF, 887 K).


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