Cytopathology fellowship recruitment: Has the time come to consider a unified approach?

Sara E. Monaco*, Ritu Nayar, Roseann I. Wu, Paul N. Staats, Güliz A. Barkan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cytopathology (CYP) fellowship training is a critical component of maintaining a skilled group of cytopathologists. For years, the recruitment process for CYP fellowship programs has remained unchanged, with individual programs outlining their own requirements and timeline, and applicants bearing the cost of travel and dealing with the variable processes outlined by individual programs. However, there has been renewed interest in analyzing the recruitment process for CYP fellowships to look for areas of potential improvement and uniformity. Methods: With the goal of gauging the interest of CYP fellowship program directors (PDs) in a more unified approach to recruitment or a formal match process, the ASC Cytopathology Program Directors Committee (CPDC) surveyed PDs via SurveyMonkey and organized special webinars with polling over a 4-year time frame (2017-2021), and examined Qualtrics survey data collected by the American Board of Pathology (ABPath) in 2020. Results: The response rate for PDs was greatest in a formal survey by the ABPath (66 respondents; 71% of PDs) conducted in 2020, and lower for an ASC survey in 2021 (61 respondents, 66% of PDs) and 2017 (19 respondents; 21% of PDs) and two recent ASC webinars (10 and 26 respondents; 11% and 28% of PDs). Support for a fellowship match process varied from 29% to 77%, respondent uncertainty ranged from 13% to 50%, and a lack of support ranged from 10% to 60%. In aggregate, approximately 56% of respondents would be in favor of a more standardized process. Recently, after hearing about other fellowships experimenting with a standardized process, the interest in a unified approach doubled from approximately 29% to 60%, and the percentage of PDs with uncertainty decreased from 50% to 26%. In the most recent follow up survey, interest reached the highest level of 77% among PDs. Conclusions: Herein we present several years of feedback from the CYP fellowship PD community regarding a more standardized approach to CYP fellowship recruitment, culminating in the latest survey with 77% of CYP fellowship PDs expressing interest. Thus, details about what a unified timeframe may look like for CYP fellowships is presented to show how this may improve the recruitment process for the mutual benefit for programs and applicants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Cytopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Cytology
  • Cytopathology
  • Fellowship
  • Match
  • Recruitment
  • Timeline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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