Cytopathology AFC Program Overview

Program Length: 1-2 years
Session Dates: July 1 - June 30
Program Structure: Series of hospital based rotations
Evaluation Methods: In-training assessments, training portfolio
Certification: Diploma of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Accreditation: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Program Director: Dr. Scott Boerner

Program Structure

The fellowship provides training in:
  • diagnostics with access to specimens from essentially all organ sites
  • specimen acquisition and rapid evaluation in fine-needle clinics and on-site assessment
  • the fundamentals of modern specimen preparation, triage, processing and ancillary testing
  • continuous quality improvement and laboratory safety
  • interpersonal skills in patient interaction and communication with clinical colleagues and laboratory personnel
  • clinicopathological research through trainee-led scientific project(s)
With focus in these areas:
  • diagnostic proficiency
  • quality assurance
  • specimen triage and preparation techniques
  • performance of ultrasound- and palpation-guided FNAs
  • on-site assessment for EBUS/EUS, fluoroscopic, CT- and U/S-guided sampling
  • ancillary studies (immunohisto/cytochemistry, flow cytometry, HPV testing, molecular testing, fluorescence in-situ hybridization
  • academic research project
  • graded clinical responsibility
Supported through:
  • Combined annual specimens: ~45,000
    •       Papanicolaou tests (SurePath, ThinPrep): ~22,000
    •       Fine needle aspirations: ~8,000
  • Consultation cases: 1,000 - 2,000
Assessment of performance:
Trainees will be expected to maintain a training portfolio consisting of:
  • structured case log
  • in-training examinations (slide-based, digital image-based, oral)
  • documented training assignments (consultation, critical results, quality, health policy etc.)
  • documented ancillary test result analysis and reporting
  • documented contribution to clinical and educational rounds/seminars
  • evidence of scholarly activity
Graduates are expected to submit their completed training portfolio to the RCPSC for assessment and, if successful, will obtain a diploma in official recognition of their subspecialty training.

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Applying to the Program

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for independent licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). For CPSO eligibility and licensure requirements, visit:

Important Information for Applicants:

Specialist Status: Applicants must have completed residency training in Anatomical or General Pathology and must be certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Medical Practice License: Training will involve work with patients and/or patient records. Applicants must have a valid CPSO Independent Practice License.

Malpractice Insurance: Applicants must have malpractice insurance with the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). For information, contact the CMPA directly


The fellowship is funded in an amount consistent with the funding requirements set by the Fellowship Education Advisory Committee of the Postgraduate Medical Education office.

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Application Process

Application Deadline for July Start: September 1 of the prior year (for example, September 1, 2016 application deadline for July 2017 start date).

 Please click here to access the application site


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