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Cytopathology

The fellowship program has filled its openings for a one-year fellowship starting July 2023.  Applications for the 2024-25 academic year will be accepted starting in May 2022.

Each year, the Department of Pathology offers two ACGME-accredited fellowship positions in cytopathology that emphasize a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach.

Faculty members involved in the program are committed to fellow training and actively involved in cytopathology at the local, national and international level.

Meet the department's fellows

Johnson, Daniel N

Program Director

Daniel N Johnson

Assistant Professor of Pathology (Cytopathology) and Pathology (Head and Neck Pathology)

 Program Aims

  • Provide a strong and diverse didactic and practical cytopathology curriculum, including cytomorphologic diagnostic skills, scientific and medical knowledge, technical skills and administrative and lab management experience
  • Teach fellows to use ancillary studies such as immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, molecular pathology and microbiology in coming to a final cytopathologic diagnosis
  • Encourage fellows to participate in research projects, prepare abstracts for submission to national meetings and write manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Promote the development of teaching and presentations skills through participation in interdepartmental conferences

 Education and Research

The program offers the opportunity to learn the diagnostic and prognostic applications of cytopathology in a variety of specimen types, including gynecologic and non-gynecologic samples, as well as fine-needle aspirates of deep-seated organs and superficial masses.

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is an NCI-designated comprehensive facility for the treatment and research of neoplastic disorders where an amazing spectrum of interesting cases are seen by Pathology. Cytopathology's annual volume is approximately 40,000 (25,000 gynecologic and 15,000 non-gynecologic).

There is a FNA clinic within the division, and the staff and trainees participate in performance of superficial FNAs as well as on site evaluations/triage of specimens acquired in interventional radiology, bronchoscopy and interventional gastroenterology.

 Clinical Experience

Unique features of our program are the performance of ultrasound-guided head and neck biopsies (>120 per fellow per year) by our fellows in ENT and core biopsies performed in radiology stay with the FNA and touch prep in cytology. There are ancillary facilities in immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, molecular diagnostics, liquid-based and automated (Cytyc ThinPrep imager) cytology, as well as other emerging technologies. A close working relationship exists with surgical pathology and hematopathology, especially since the cytopathology signs out a large number of core biopsies. 

Regular teaching conferences are held for residents and fellows, and there is significant involvement in departmental, interdepartmental and multidisciplinary conferences. An outstanding comprehensive teaching slide set collection is available on site. The fellows participate in service, review of outside consultations, teaching, quality assurance activities and translational research.

 Requirements & Eligibility

Applicants must have completed AP training or concluded the AP/CP requirements for board eligibility and hold a license to practice medicine in the State of Illinois. Recruitment interviews occur between January and February of the preceding year.

 Stipend

The stipend is commensurate with the fellow’s PGY year of training. Find stipend information via the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University site.

 Application Process

Two cytopathology fellowships are offered annually. Applications should be submitted between July and September two years prior to the starting date of the fellowship. In-person interviews for selected candidates will take place during the months of September and October, following the review of applications. Prepare an application package with the following items:

  • CV
  • Cover letter containing a one-page summary of your cytopathology interest and background
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation

Send application materials and letters of recommendation by email to Susan Christmas, Program Coordinator, at schristm@nm.org.

 Why Northwestern?

Housestaff training through McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University provides diverse and challenging clinical experiences and world-class education located in the heart of the beautiful city of Chicago. Learn more via the links to the McGaw website below.

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