Cytopathology Area of Focused Competence (AFC) Program overview
Program length: One - two years
Session dates: July 1 – June 30
Program structure: Series of hospital based rotations
Evaluation methods: In-training assessments, training portfolio
Program Director: Dr Scott Boerner
Certification: Diploma of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Accreditation: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Based at the University Health Network (Toronto General Site and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), the AFC Cytopathology Diploma Program meets the increasing demand for specialist cytopathology expertise.
You will attain the necessary skills to contribute and oversee the operations of a state-of-the-art cytopathology laboratory at a medical, organization and procedural level.
You will gain the in-depth knowledge and expertise to become leaders in your field.
More about education in Cytopathology
The Canadian Area of Focused Competence (AFC) in Cytopathology experience: the first four years. Weir MM, Boerner SL, Auger M. J Am Soc Cytopathol. 2016 Nov-Dec;5(6): 309-312
Cytopathology fellowsip paving new paths for future learners. The Pathology Report. UHN.
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:
- 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
- Combined annual specimens: ~45,000
- Papanicolaou tests (SurePath, ThinPrep): ~22,000
- Fine needle aspirations: ~8,000
- Consultation cases: 1,000 - 2,000
How you are assessed
You 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
At the end of the program, you will submit your completed training portfolio to the RCPSC for assessment and, if successful, will obtain a diploma in official recognition of your subspecialty training.
Eligibility and how to apply
To be eligible, you must:
- meet the minimum eligibility requirements for licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).
- Specialist Status: You 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. You must have a valid CPSO Independent Practice License.
- Malpractice Insurance: You must have malpractice insurance with the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA).
Application deadline for July start: September 1 of the prior year (for example, September 1, 2020 application deadline for July 2021 start date).
To apply, follow the same process for Clinical and Research Fellowships.
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.