PREPARING THE SOIL

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.

— Alfred Austin

Barbara A. Crothers, DO President, American Society of Cytopathology

I want to talk about the importance of soil–and foundations. Soil is more than just dirt; it is teaming with essential microbial life and potential. If it’s healthy, it provides the necessary nutrients and minerals needed for growth. But soil requires attention, too- we all know that crop rotation was introduced due to soil depletion. Farmers understand that one needs to nourish the soil so that it can nourish plants. Sometimes that just means letting it lie, but sometimes it means composting, tilling, burning, slashing and mulching.

A large part of the ASC “soil” is our collaboration with otherorganizations- areas into which we can extend our roots and form symbiotic relationships. I’ve spent the first few months of my term solidifying relationships and creating new ones, as have many of the ASC leaders. Late last year, ASC President Edmund Cibas wrote a heartfelt letter to Dr John Kirby, Dean of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, University of Rhode Island, to implore him to reconsider the closure of their excellent Cytotechnology Program. In it, he emphasized the changing roles of cytotechnologists and their contributions to cancer diagnoses other than Pap testing. The University of Rhode Island Cytotechnology Program services a large northeastern region and its loss would adversely impact personalized care to regional oncology patients. I’m pleased to report that his efforts, and those of the Program Director, Barbara Klitz MS, CT (ASCP), had the desired effect of keeping the program open. By unanimous decision, this program now falls under the Cell and Molecular Biology Department- a perfect fit! If you know of any potential cytotechnology student candidates, have them check out the University of Rhode Island program for enrollment, so that they may plant their feet in that rich soil.

Garden Soils are Microbiomes

One of my first actions was to write a personal letter to President R. Bruce Williams MD, College of American Pathologists (CAP), offering to partner with their organization for the See, Test and Treat Program to offer cervical cancer screening services to underserved women. In addition, we are exploring ways to team up on defining new roles for cytotechnologists to address future cytopathology workforce needs. The closure of cytotechnology (CT) schools is disturbing, but it also opens up opportunity to shift the focus of CT training from screening to supportive roles that advance newer oncology testing techniques, such as fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH), rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) of minimally-invasive procedural specimens for adequacy and triage, and specimen preparation/selection for molecular analysis. The CAP also sponsors a National Pathology Organizations meeting of 9 organization which met February 9th to coordinate advocacy efforts. Common shared interests included the status of laboratory workforces, including shortages of cytotechnologists, medical technologists, and forensic pathologists; responses to FDA laboratory developed procedures and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) request for information (RIF) on next-generation sequencing reimbursement; and support for graduate medical education and research. All of the organizations, including ASC, agreed to collaborate as a unified voice on common issues.

Cytology’s Role in Next Generation Sequencing testing

One of the ways that the ASC showed its support for sister organizations was in our response to CMS’s RIF on next-generation sequencing (NGS) reimbursement.  In our on-line public comment response, ASC supported the Association for Molecular Pathology’s position by cautioning against the stringently drafted reimbursement guidelines for NGS testing. The ASC noted the unduly restrictive conditions that limit reimbursement to patients with advanced cancer and highlighted the important role that cytology plays in providing tissue for NGS testing. The restrictive proposal would exclude cytology specimens from reimbursement, because these require laboratory-developed procedures (LDP) for validation of ancillary tests performed. This would bar a large proportion of oncology patients from critical diagnostic and therapeutic/prognostic tests if cytology specimens are obtained.

Not Just Anyone Can Do Cytology…

The ASC is currently working in cooperation with several pathology organizations to formulate a response to a recent CMS call for public comment regarding Clinical Laboratory Act Amendment (CLIA) changes to laboratory testing and technical supervisory personnel. Briefly, the CMS is asking whether a nursing degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) qualifies individuals to perform laboratory testing and/or act as technical consultants. They also invite other proposed changes to existing CLIA personnel requirements. The Government Affairs and Economic Policy Committee provided me with an in-depth outline of the issues and background supporting data and our response is in development. Fortunately, CLIA protects cytotechnologists with very stringent personnel requirements and we all agree not to disturb that soil.

Self-Collected Pap tests?

Along other regulatory lines, the ASC was represented at a January 11th meeting of the FDA seeking public comment on the feasibility of introducing self-collection devices for Pap testing. Paul Staats, MD gave an astute presentation on the issues, problems and risks of self-collection devices for cytology, and Dorothy Rosenthal, MD provided insight on logistics and the potential chemical dangers to patients. I issued an ASC statement at the end of the meeting emphasizing our concerns that women might opt-out of clinical visits in favor of self-testing, with the potential ill effect of increasing the rates of cervical cancer in previously well-screened populations through extended delays in follow up. Although the FDA specifically did not address self-testing for primary HPV testing as a cervical cancer screening test, this is certain to be soon on the docket for discussion.

Digging in

A little soil disruption can go a long way: the ASC voted to remain neutral in the ongoing discussion about Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and the requirement by many Specialty Boards for a re-certification examination every 10 years. However, pathology is fortunate in that the American Board of Pathology (ABP), the last specialty to introduce MOC, remains on the cutting edge of exploring reasonable alternatives to document competency of its diplomates. As a step towards easing the pain of reporting, the ABP is collaborating with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to create automated reporting of a diplomate’s educational and practice improvement activities for MOC to the ABP. The registration of educational activities and reporting of diplomates’ completion data to the ABP is done by CME accredited providers, using the ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS).  PARS is a web‐based system that collects data about educational activities. Beginning in 2018, PARS will be available for CME accredited providers, such as the ASC, to register their educational activities for MOC and report diplomate completion data to the ABP.  CME accredited providers will also be able to identify and categorize their CME, SAMs, and Part IV activities that will be searchable by diplomates in ACCME’s CME Finder.

ASC’s Most Supportive Microbe

There is always a “most prevalent” organism (organization) that supports a microbiome, and for the ASC, it is the CETC. The Cytopathology Education and Technology Consortium is a comprised of representatives from the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), American Society for Cytotechnology (ASCT), College of American Pathologists (CAP), International Academy of Cytopathology (IAC) and the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology (PSC). The consortium has been very active lately with multiorganizational responses to suggested guidelines or governmental calls for information. In October 2017, CETC submitted a succinct, coordinated response to the United States Preventive Service Task Force cautioning on their recommended guidelines to introduce primary HPV screening for cervical cancer without sufficient longitudinal evidence. Similarly, they outlined laboratory concerns about Pap test self-collection devices for submission to the FDA. Ritu Nayar, MD, an ASC former President, is the CETC’s representative on the American Society for Colposcopic and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP)- National Cancer Institutes (NCI) working group for risk-based guidelines to follow up abnormal cervical cancer screening tests. The CETC has been the watchdog for our organization; quickly bringing important issues to our attention and coordinating solutions. It is truly a symbiotic relationship and highly valued.

The sun is setting, my hands are dirty, but I can’t go wash up without mentioning one other critical partner- the College of American Pathologists. Through the CAP Center, the ASC and 7 other societies have published guidelines for the appropriate collection and handling of thoracic specimens for laboratory testing, soon to be published. Sinchita Roy-Chowdhuri, MD, a molecular and cytopathologist, is the Co-Chair of this critical consortium. Cytology specimens play a central role in reducing the morbidity and mortality of lung cancer diagnoses, and our seat at this table was critical to ensure that patients continued to have a cytology alternative for diagnosis.

The soil is prepared…Next up- planting seeds.

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Message from the ASC President – Welcome to the Garden

Barbara A. Crothers, DO, ASC President Joint Pathology Center Silver Spring, MD

I aspire to be a farmer. I’m already a gardener who enjoys the fruits and flowers of my labors and now you, the members of the American Society of Cytopathology, have entrusted me with a great landscape to sow the seeds of change. It is a great privilege! I am honored to serve you, the profession of cytopathology, and our patients. I am sincerely grateful for your vote of confidence. But I will need your help.

Farming and gardening are cooperative activities that rely on an interconnected ecosystem for success, so I will use that analogy this year to chart our way. New gardeners and farmers plan for the future, but also evaluate the present and reflect on the past. The ASC grows stronger and more stable each year; a thick trunk springing from a strong root system.

During my 30 years as an ASC member, I have been constantly amazed at how the Annual Scientific Meeting improves every year, and at the growth and outreach of our organization. Most of all, I am  impressed with the welcoming warmth of the members and the Executive Board. Our organization is like a family that continues to embrace new members and get them involved. Without the encouragement and opportunities provided to me as a member, I would never be standing in these shoes as your President. You are the organization, and each of you has a significant role to play.

 

THEME: Grow Your Garden with 100 Years of Color 

Every incoming President selects a theme or focus for the year, and I chose “Grow Your Garden.” Gardeners focus on their own habitat, their own little worlds of color; a patchwork of gardens endows the world with beauty. Gardeners tend to work alone (aren’t most pathologists and cytotechnologists introverts?), looking at the big picture, but also getting down in the dirt and details. You are gardeners every day; we all influence things in our environment and impact outcomes, no matter how small our actions or how small our sphere. When you are a gardener, you go around looking at what is in your garden, what is doing well, what is not, and make some changes:  Weed-pull it out! Flourishing- plant more! Languishing- relocate! I ask each of you to work within your sphere of influence – whether that is in your workplace, on an ASC committee, in your community or internationally – to forward our goals as a profession.

This year we celebrate “100 years of color,” George Papanicolaou’s research based on Papanicolaou staining to color cervical epithelial cells. Without color, Dr. Papanicolaou would not have been able to differentiate between cellular changes. The foundation of cytopathology is morphology, the examination of colored cells. Our gardens thrive on color, and there are innumerable cell blossoms that we view daily. It works well with a garden theme, don’t you think?

The ASC has already laid the groundwork for many changes we’ll be working this year. We have a strategic plan in alignment with the quality and safe practice principles of the Institute of Medicine, thanks to Dr. Eva Wojcik. I can’t say enough good things about the ASC/ASCP Working Group for the Future of Cytopathology spearheaded by Kalyani Naik, MS, SCT(ASCP), Maria Friedlander, MPA, CT(ASCP)CMIAC, Lynnette Pineault, SCT(ASCP), Amy Wendel-Spiczka, MS, SCT, MP, HLT(ASCP)CM, Sandra Giroux, MS, SCT(ASCP)CFIAC, and A. Janie Roberson, BS, SCT(ASCP)CMIAC, focused on emerging cytopathology roles and re-invention of the profession, particularly the transformation of cytotechnology. They’ve done a lot of heavy lifting to move us forward towards team-based cytopathology practice. Most importantly, we continue to collaborate with our sister organizations towards common goals: the College of American Pathologists, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the American Society of Cytotechnology, the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology, the International Academy of Cytopathology, and the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.

But sometimes you have to do some weeding. Looking at our committee list, I “pulled up” the Continuing Education Oversight Committee, Position Statements and Guidelines Review Committee, Website Committee, and the Paris System Website Task Force to make room in the garden for some new initiatives. Committees should have a lifespan too – that’s a good thing; it means they have achieved their purpose. Two other committees are soon to see a shovel come their way – The ASC/IAC Milan System for Salivary Terminology and the Milan System Website Atlas Committee, but they still have a bit of work to do this year.

PLANTING NEW SEEDS

Once you make a space in the garden, you are inspired to fill it in. The ASC/ASCP Working Group will be restructuring to work through some of their recommendations for future growth. I’ve transplanted many members of the Website Committee to the Product Innovation Committee to conceptualize and design new products to help sustain us financially. There are two new Task Forces – CELL and CLIA – to work on special projects I’ve chosen to focus on this year. There are 69 new committee member “seeds” to help with these efforts. After you appoint and plant, it’s important to nurture the seeds, so… I have maintained or appointed seasoned leaders to act as advisors for these efforts. They include Mohidean Ghofrani, MD for the Product Innovation Committee; Kara Hansing, BS, SCT(ASCP) and Robert Goulart, MD for the CELL Resources Committee; David Wilbur, MD, George Birdsong, MD, Carol Filomena, MD and Swati Mehrotra, MD  for the Government Affairs and Economic Policy Committee; Lydia Howell, MD for the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee; and Patricia Wasserman, MD for the Social Media Committee. I want to recognize, in particular, the critical work that they have all done in the past and continue to do for the Society. It doesn’t happen without all of you; all of you who volunteer, who attend Annual Scientific  Meetings, or even who advocate for cytology on a daily basis at your places of work – your sphere. YOU make the difference.

What is this meant to grow? Every President can only accomplish a few things during his or her year, and I chose the following areas of emphasis.

Transform, Re-energize and Recruit for New Cytology Professional(s)

I am deeply concerned about our dwindling cytotechnology schools and workforce. We cannot function effectively without cytotechnologists. They are the canaries in the coal mines – where they go, cytopathologists follow. We all must reinvent ourselves, and help each other do it. I’m asking the ASC to consider sponsoring an ASC University to develop a Master’s Program in Cytology for a new Mid-level Practitioner. It may involve a consortium of universities. In addition, we’ll double our contributions to the Cytopathology Education and Learning Laboratory (CELL) Website through the CELL Task Force to provide on-line education both nationally and abroad. The Cytotechnology Programs Review Committee (CPRC) and the Cytopathology Program Director’s Committee will collaborate on curriculum for a mid-level pathology professional Master’s program. The Social Media Committee and others have been charged to invent new ways to recruit and retain individuals in our profession.

Improve underserved US population access to cervical cancer screening with Pap tests

To this day, it is still primarily unscreened and under-screened women who get cervical cancer. We’re in a climate where healthcare is becoming unaffordable, more confusing, and less accessible, while at the same time we are advocating less screening with a molecular test that doesn’t detect dysplasia. We have to reach these women with an understandable message of the importance of screening, and preserve the Pap test as a scientifically valid screening test. The Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee is charged with coordinating with local patient advocacy groups and other organizations to create and investigate ways to make the messages clearer, and the ASC has begun discussions with the College of American Pathologist’s See, Test and Treat program to become a sponsor.

Prepare for changes in government regulations for cytology laboratories

We currently have a President, Donald Trump, who has stated that for every regulation passed, two must go, and we should be prepared. I’ve created a CLIA Task Force under the Government Affairs and Economic Policy Committee to partner with sister organizations and to examine current regulations for scientific validity and draft “ideal” regulations that consider the changes in cytology and technology.

Ensure financial solvency of the ASC through development of new products

The new Product Innovations Committee is charged with taking ideas from an ASC Executive Board Task Force, headed by Dr. Liron Pantanowitz, and coming up with new products that can help boost our revenue. In addition, the Budget and Finance Committee will be performing a 5-year review of the financial health of our organization and determine future projections for solvency.

Support cytopathology research through continued grants

The Scientific Program Committee, ASC Foundation, and Research and Current Concepts Committees will collaborate to foment new research in cytopathology.  That may include perpetuating the Shark Tank or finding other inventive ways of encouraging new investigators.

Not everything in the garden is beneficial–we are faced with many threats, primarily our diminishing workforce, the changing medical climate, and currently, loss of our vote at the AMA in the House of Delegates. We require 20% of our medical members to be AMA members to have a seat, and we rely solely on this position for influence in billing and reimbursement in Congress, so it is a critical position. I urge you, as a member, become an AMA member as well.

However, we are a strong organization, and we are capable of anything. What did President Barack Obama say? Yes, we CAN. And next year in Washington, DC, at this time, I hope to be able to tell you about the fruits of your labor and dedication. So the theme, “Grow Your Garden,” is an appeal for each of you to work within your garden, your sphere of influence; to grow your garden. Look around you. Evaluate your garden, your environment. That means capitalizing on what works, avoiding what doesn’t, and planting new ideas into the soil. You are a little dot, a grain of soil, in a large garden called the ASC. We are your support network- your soil, your nutrients, and your opportunity for growth. It’s easy to start small, coming to the ASC Annual Meeting, volunteering to sit on a Committee, posting to the blogosphere. I’m going to call on you, in the words of President John F. Kennedy, to ask not what ASC can do for you, rather ask what you can do for ASC!

You have my heartfelt thanks for all you have done in the past, present and future. GARDENING IS A HAPPY EXPERIMENT. This is your garden – go and play in it!

When Worlds Collide or What’s Music Got to Do With It?

This blog is for everyone who is passionate about Cytology but knows that our work doesn’t entirely define us. This blog is also confessional: I’m revealing something about myself that many of you don’t know. During high school and college, I dreamed of a career as a classical pianist. My parents arranged for piano lessons for me and my sister when we were young, and from my earliest years I loved playing. I performed extensively and loved it (mostly), but when push came to shove I realized that the life of a musician was not for me. Even though I ended up studying medicine, I never stopped playing. And to this day one of my favorite things is getting together with friends for an evening of chamber music.

Sometimes, my two worlds collide in surprising and delightful ways. In May 2013, I was invited to play a short program of music for piano four hands at the International Congress of Cytology in Paris. My partner in crime was Dr. Felipe Andreiuolo, a Brazilian pathologist living in Paris and a superb musician. An evening I’ll never forget!

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And now, surprisingly, my two worlds are colliding again: a few months ago I was at a retreat with the ASC Foundation, the purpose of which was to brainstorm about fundraising. During the retreat, to facilitate bonding among the participants, we all shared something personal about ourselves. Of course, I brought up my passion for music. I mentioned to the group that some live recordings of concert performances from my college and medical school years had been recently transferred from cassette to CD format to preserve them from extinction. Aha – a fundraising idea was born!

If you enjoy classical music, and if you’re at all curious to see this other side of me, you can own a copy of the CD by simply making a $50 (or greater) contribution to the ASC Foundation. Your contribution will go towards furthering the mission of the ASC – its commitment to education, research, and advocacy. The CD includes live performances of the Chopin Ballade in g minor and a couple of pieces by Brahms (from Op.118), all from my college years, as well as Jeux d’eaux by Ravel, recorded when I was a medical student.

A big thank you, in advance, for considering making a contribution to our very precious and worthy ASC!

Cytology Shark Tank Finalists Announced!

Cytology Shark Tank – ASC Young Investigator Grant
Saturday, November 11, 2017
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

I’m pleased to announce that the members of the Research and Current Concepts Committee have reviewed 12 highly meritorious proposals and selected the three finalists for the ASC Cytology Shark Tank:


Eric Huang, MD, PhD
University of California, Davis
Sacramento, CA

Proposal: Diagnostic Utility of Raman Spectroscopy in Differentiating Thyroid Nodules and Identifying Thyroid Cancers


Sinchita Roy-Chowdhuri, MD, PhD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX

Proposal: Mutational Profiling of Centrifuged Supernatant Fluid from Fine Needle Aspiration of Thyroid Nodules


Vivian Weiss, MD, PhD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN

Proposal: The Use of Next Generation Sequencing to Identify the Molecular and Immunologic Mechanisms of Thyroid Cancer Invasion to Develop Improved FNA-based Testing


With 3 minutes for their pitch, followed by questions from four judges (“sharks”), each finalist will do his/her best to convince the judges (and the audience) that their proposal is the most deserving of the $50,000 grant.

The Cytology Shark Tank Aquarist (moderator) for the evening will be Dr. Liron Pantanowitz (University of Pittsburgh), and the Sharks (judges) will be Dr. Douglas Clark (University of New Mexico), Dr. Martha Pitman (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School), Dr. Celeste Powers (Virginia Commonwealth University), and Dr. David Rimm (Yale University).

Mark your calendars now (Saturday, November 11 at 5:30 PM). Be there to support and encourage our three finalists as they dive into the ASC Cytology Shark Tank!

Cytology Shark Tank Comes to Phoenix!

As many of you know, one of my goals as your President is to encourage and support our talented young members who want to do research in cytology. This is a crucial investment: they’re the ones who will lead the profession forward, finding new applications for the cytologic method. Along with education and advocacy, research is one of the key missions of our Society.

In this regard, I’m delighted to announce that we’ve received 12 proposals for the $50,000 research grant that will be awarded at the Annual Scientific Meeting in Phoenix this November. This first-ever “Cytology Shark Tank” event, modeled after competitions like “Project Runway” and “Shark Tank,” will feature three finalists. The members of the ASC Research and Current Concepts Committee, chaired by Dr. Liron Pantanowitz (University of Pittsburgh), are currently reviewing the proposals to select the three finalists, who will make their pitch to a panel of judges on Saturday, November 11th from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The judges will be Drs. Douglas Clark (University of New Mexico), Martha Pitman (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School), Celeste Powers (Virginia Commonwealth University), and David Rimm (Yale University).

The 12 proposals have come from across the United States: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

The three finalists will be offered an additional benefit: a weekend workshop in Chicago a month or so prior to the Phoenix meeting. The workshop will be coordinated by Ms. Heather Barnes, whom some of you saw at the New Orleans meeting last year. She gave a delightful and instructive presentation entitled “Taking a Stand: Using Improv to Teach Science and Medicine.” Ms. Barnes will spend a day with the finalists, helping them develop their presentation skills using improv methods – skills like responding in the moment, connecting with others, and managing questions. For all three finalists, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and they will leave Chicago with a toolkit of resources for further professional development.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the first-ever “Cytology Shark Tank” event in Phoenix in November. Come and support our three finalists and help shape the future of our profession!

The Search for New Knowledge

cibas_2012_headshot_color

Edmund S. Cibas, MD

It’s a privilege to serve as your President: The ASC has been MY Society since my fellowship year (don’t ask how long ago…), and I’m eager to do my best for all of you. One of my goals is to encourage and support our talented young members who want to do research in cytology. This is a crucial investment:  they’re the ones who will lead the profession forward, finding new applications for the cytologic method.

I’m grateful to the ASC Foundation for sharing this goal and offering a $50,000 Young Investigator Grant for a research proposal related to cytopathology. I hope you’ve all seen the announcement that was sent out via the ASC Listserv. It’s also highlighted on the ASC website. To qualify, you have to be an ASC member and no more than 10 years out from training. Cytotechnologists and cytopathologists are eligible. (See link above for detailed eligibility requirements and application information.) The deadline for applications is April 15th.

If you qualify, I encourage you to apply! If not, please encourage your eligible colleagues to sharktank_300submit a proposal. The proposals will be carefully reviewed and three finalists will be selected by the Research and Current Concepts Committee.  To add to the excitement, the winner will be selected at a live event during our Annual Scientific Meeting in Phoenix this November – the new “Cytology Shark Tank” event, modeled after competitions like “Project Runway” and “Shark Tank,” with the finalists presenting their proposals to a panel of judges.

The finalists will be offered an additional benefit: a weekend workshop in Chicago prior to the Annual Scientific Meeting. The workshop will be coordinated by Heather Barnes, of the Museum of Science and Industry and Second City, whom some of you saw at the New Orleans meeting. She gave a delightful and instructive presentation entitled “Taking a Stand: Using Improv to Teach Science and Medicine.” Ms. Barnes will spend a day with the finalists, helping them develop their presentation skills using improv methods – skills like responding in the moment, connecting with others, and managing questions.  Are you shy, afraid of improv and workshops like this in general? Have no fear!  Ms. Barnes’ workshop will be conducted in a supportive environment. She’s designed exercises that help participants develop increased confidence presenting in front of large scale audiences.  For all three finalists, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and they will leave Chicago with a toolkit of resources to use for their own further development.

Do you have questions about the proposal requirements and expectations? You can email them to: sharktank@cytopathology.org.

Spread the word, and please come to the first-ever “Cytology Shark Tank” event to cheer on our three finalists!

An Opportunity for You to Tell Your Favorite Cytology Story

An Opportunity for You to Tell Your Favorite Cytology Story
Guest Blogger – Rosemary Tambouret, MD
Co-Chair, Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee

We need your help in spreading the word on the value of cytology to the general public and Tambouret Phototo our colleagues in other medical specialties; therefore, we have begun a new program that we hope you will embrace enthusiastically.

In January 2016, each ASC Committee was tasked by Dr. Wojick with selection of an initiative to focus on during the year. Since one of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee charges is to provide information on cytopathology to the public, we decided to ask each committee member to write an essay on some aspect of cytology important to them. On reflection, we thought why not open this creative challenge to all ASC members. And to really get your creative side revved up, in lieu of an essay, submit a poem, a slide show or a short video about you and cytology. A haiku verse might work for you, or how about a short animated movie? The piece can be serious or light hearted, you be the judge. Here are some topics just to get you thinking:

• Experiences with even an oblique tie to cytology
• How being a cytologist has expanded your world
• Interactions with patients and/or clinicians linked your work as a cytologist
• Episodes in the FNA clinic
• How your career in cytology began and developed.

Here is an example of a Haiku verse:

Switch on the light bulb
Swirl the knob to focus so the
Cells can tell their story

We will publish the works in print or on the Web site for professionals and for the general public. Wouldn’t it be great to do a Google search on cytology and have your creation pop up?

We urge you to submit your creations by August 15, 2016, using the button below.
submit your creation button

All entries will be displayed on the ASC Web site and the best will be honored at the Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans. The very best will be awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

We look forward to your creation!