Ultrasound Guided Fine Needle Aspiration (USFNA)
Certification and Certificates in USFNA

Topic Completed: 1 March 2013

Revised: 3 January 2019, last major update March 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Certification ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration

Joseph D. Jakowski, M.D.
Susan Meanor, R.T., R.D.M.S.
Page views in 2019: 213
Page views in 2020 to date: 89
Cite this page: Jakowski J. D., Meanor S. Certification in USFNA. website. Accessed May 27th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Awarded to pathologists who have met the pre-application requirements and have attended an educational course or courses in USFNA or US medicine and have passed a cognitive and skills examination
  • Certification: Completion of an educational program that validates competency
  • Certificate of completion: Completion of an educational program which does not necessarily indicate competency
  • Currently, two national organizations offer learning programs and assessment in USFNA for pathologists:
    • Certificate of completion in USFNA: College of American Pathologists (CAP): Ultrasound Guided Fine Needle Aspiration - Advanced Practical Pathology Program (USFNA AP3)
    • Neck US and USFNA Certification: The American College of Endocrinology (ACE): Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Board certified pathologist
    • Recommended, but does not require, successful completion at least 50 FNA procedures in the current year applying

  • The USFNA AP3 is two day workshop run by pathologists that specialize in USFNA and the course includes:
    • Pre workshop learning (approx. 6 hours of reading and educational videos)
    • Faculty Led Two Day Workshop
    • Cognitive Test (60 to 70 multiple choice questions)
    • Practical Assessments
      • Slide smear practical
      • Needle placement practical

  • Participants Receive:
    • 16 CME credits
    • Certificate of completion in USFNA (valid for a 5 year period)

  • CAP USFNA Certificate maintenance and renewal requirement every 5 years:
    • Performance Documentation of 5 original pathology reports that include the results from a USFNA procedure
    • Renewal Fee payment
  • ECNU is a professional certification in neck US for physicians who perform consultations and diagnostic evaluations of thyroid and parathyroid through both diagnostic US and USFNA

  • American Board of Pathology certified Cytopathologists are now eligible to apply and obtain ECNU certification with the requirements of:
    • 15.0 hours of Category 1 CME credits within the past 3 years or attending a Thyroid Ultrasound Course(s)
    • Currently performing at least 100 US studies per year (70% diagnostic; 30% UGFNA)
    • US studies should include parathyroid US and thyroid cancer lymph node mapping in the neck

  • ECNU certification is awarded to those who then have completed the application requirements and have subsequently completed:
    • Comprehensive Certification Examination (100 questions)
    • Validation of Competency Process (submission of a total of fifteen US studies and reports)

  • ECNU recertification is required at 10 year intervals and includes the following:
    • Performance of 70 diagnostic US examinations and 30 USFNA procedures annually
    • 15 CME hours each 3 year segment (i.e. 5 CME credits per year)
    • Pass a computer based Recertification Examination
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