Paul Staats, MD, Zubair Baloch, MD, Israh Akhtar, MD, Kamal Khurana, MD, and Sara Monaco, MD

 The field of Cytopathology is an expansive and rapidly changing discipline encompassing a broad fund of knowledge, reasoning, and skills in pathophysiology, diagnostics, and therapeutics. It is common knowledge that today’s cytopathology education is rapidly moving away from the traditional apprentice models towards a competency-based framework. Among many, the most accepted definition of competency-based education is an outcome-based approach to develop, implement, assess, and evaluate curriculum within the context of defined competencies. Currently, there is growing interest by many healthcare professionals and organizations in restructuring clinical workplace curricula (based on recommendations and requirements issued by professional organizations and accreditation institutions) to develop a competency-based curriculum for medical trainees. However, before one embarks on such a journey the most common questions will be: what would it entail to develop such a “curriculum” and what will the final product look like for Cytology Fellowship Training Programs, and above all what methods would be most effective at teaching and assessing these taught skills?

At present, there is clearly a gap to bridge between theory and practice of competency-based education and training at a workplace. Despite broad support and enthusiasm there is much concern and ongoing dialogue regarding how the required competencies will be taught, practiced and assessed. There are also concerns about how exactly these new roles must be taught and whether the whole concept of competency-based training might become a bureaucratic burden rather than a much-needed improvement of the quality of clinical training.

This year’s Strategies in Cytopathology Education session at the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) Annual Scientific Meeting in Salt Lake City, will ask these questions, and hopefully, begin to answer some of them. A broad range of Program Directors and educators will provide their views on the skills, incentives, resources, and actions required by cytopathology training programs to implement competency-based education and training. This session will allow ample time for audience participation and moderated discussion in a town hall format.

Speakers for this session include:

Deborah Chute, MD
Robert Goulart, MD
Sara Jiang, MD, PhD
Sean McNair, MPH, CT(ASCP)
Ritu Nayar, MD
Miriam Post, MD
Roseann Wu, MD, PhD