Stanford Cytology Rotation

Your life on the cytology rotation will be similar to what you’ve experienced on Day 2 of the Stanford Surg Path cycle, except that you’ll be doing cytology full-time!  This means much more experience performing fine needle aspirations and far greater exposure to interesting FNA slides, both from in-house cases and outside/consult material.  Usually you’ll share responsibilities with a fellow, although occasionally residents are placed on the service alone.  You’ll be based in the Cytology Lab and will spend the first couple hours of the morning writing up cases from the previous day and attending any FNAs that occur.  Sign-out will begin in the early afternoon and will include body fluids, Pap smears, fine needle aspirations, I/O cases, and consult cases.  First you’ll review the cases previewed and prepared by the Day 2 residents on Surg Path, then you’ll move onto your own material.  Sign-out is usually completed by the late afternoon/early evening.  By the end of the day, a few FNA cases may be ready for you to preview downstairs.  The big “X factor” that can alter the day’s work-flow on this service are the FNAs.  The Cytology team is on-call for fine needle aspirations every day from 9am until 5pm, and you’ll be called to perform anywhere from zero to ten biopsies a day (average is 3-4).  It is also a good time to go with the cytotechnologists to the Radiology, Gastroenterology and Pulmonary suites to learn how to perform adequacy assessments on image-guided FNAs.  Thus, the above schedule is very loose and requires a lot of flexibility!  It’s also a fairly energy-intensive rotation: there’s a lot of running back and forth between the Cytology lab, the Surgical Pathology room, and the Cancer Center clinics (where most of the FNAs are performed), but the exercise is usually welcome after months of sitting at the microscope!  Weekends are free on this service. 

Stanford Cytopathology

Gerald Berry, M.D.
Kristin Jensen M.D.
Christina Kong, M.D.
Steven Long, M.D.
Erich Schwartz, M.D. Ph.D.

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