The Division of Cytopathology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Western University, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care is a referral centre for the Southwestern Ontario region for about 21000 cytology specimens annually (50% liquid based Pap tests, 50% non-gynecological specimens with 2300 fine needle aspirations (FNAs) from superficial and deep sites. We have active endoscopic and endobronchial ultrasound guided FNA services as well as numerous thyroid FNA specimens in our practice. Our department has a busy immunochemistry laboratory and a rapidly evolving molecular diagnostic laboratory to support our cytopathology diagnostic service. We are the regional cytopathology referral centre for southwestern Ontario pathologists.

Our Program

Our Area of Focused Competence (AFC, Diploma) program in Cytopathology has been accredited by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) in March 2014. It is the first AFC in Cytopathology in Canada and the first accredited AFC program in laboratory medicine apart from transfusion medicine. It has been recognized as the model AFC competency based program for the RCPSC.  Congratulations to the team!

This is a competency based program for advanced training in Cytopathology. The milestones include independent case sign-out of in-house and consultation cases, performance of Rapid On-site Evaluations & FNAs and participation in quality assurance activities. There is a concomitant academic program with broad topic coverage including lab administration, quality assurance, medicolegal aspects and development of teaching skills.

Our Requirements

Minimum requirements for this program include an MD (or equivalent) degree, certification or eligibility for certification in General or Anatomical Pathology from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (or equivalent) and eligibility for registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Our Team

Our faculty & supervisors have a recognized expertise in cytopathology and performance of FNABs. We are a multidisciplinary collaborative team including cytopathologists, cytotechnologists, an endocrinologist, radiologists and otolaryngology surgeons.

Our Trainees & Applications

Our first trainee graduated in June 2014 and our second trainee in June 2016. We post in alternate years for candidates with the applicants reviewed in the fall. Offers are made based on the expertise of the candidates and resources for our program.

The 2019-2020 application process is now closed. Please Note: 2020-2021 will be an alternate year and therefore we will not be accepting applications for that academic year.


Dr. M. Weir
Program Director, AFC Cytopathology
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Dental Sciences Building, Room 4045
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University
London ON, N6A 5C1