Cytopathology competency assessment

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Revised: 4 January 2019, last major update September 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Mediastinum cytopathology competency assessment

Gordon H. Yu, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 110
Page views in 2019 to date: 50
Cite this page: Yu G. Cytopathology competency assessment - general. website. Accessed August 22nd, 2019.
Medical knowledge
  1. Understand the anatomic boundaries of the mediastinum
  2. Become familiar with all anatomic structures located within the mediastinum (great vessels, esophagus, trachea, thymus, thoracic duct, lymph nodes, nerves)
  3. Understand the division of the mediastinum into superior, anterior, middle and posterior compartment
  4. Recognize the differential diagnosis of mass lesions in the mediastinum, depending upon the compartment in which it is located and the age of the patient
  5. Recognize the possible presenting clinical signs and symptoms of mediastinal masses, depending upon their location relative to normal structures
Practice based learning and systems based practice
  1. Recognize radiologic imaging features which may suggest particular diagnoses (i.e. presence of calcification, well defined borders, etc.)
  2. Recognize the ability of fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy to establish a definitive diagnosis of mediastinal masses with limited patient morbidity, including overall diagnostic accuracy rates
  3. Recognize imaging modalities which may be used to guide needle biopsies (FNA and core biopsies)
  4. Learn how different prepration techniques (smears, imprints, cell blocks) contribute to accurate diagnosis
  5. Recognize possible complications which may occur during FNA of the mediastinum
  6. Recognize the expected unsatisfactory, false positive and false negative rates in mediastinal mass FNA and the factors which may lead to such occurrences and other diagnostic difficulties
  7. Recognize the role of FNA biopsy in the diagnostic evaluation and work up of mediastinal masses and its ability to direct patient management
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