The requirements for taking this examination are much the same as those for the Part 2 examination in histopathology/cytopathology, with the exception that candidates should have spent at least two years in cytopathology, in a department recognised by the College for such training. It may be taken by those with the Part 1 examination in either histopathology or cytopathology.
The examination has the following components.
· Autopsy – arrangements as for the Part 2 in histopathology.
· Surgical pathology/cytopathology – this consists of 20 cases, 14 of which are routine histology sections similar to those used in the general histopathology examination, and six diagnostic (non-gynaecological) cytology cases of a type that would be encountered in a routine diagnostic practice. Giemsa and Papanicolaou stains are included wherever possible.
· Cytopathology – this part of the examination consists of 12 cytology cases, eight of which are cervical smears and four non-gynaecological cases, including one breast fine needle aspirate and one serous fluid preparation.
· Special stains – this consists of four cytological cases with immunocytochemistry or immunohistochemistry, one breast fine needle aspirate sample stained by Diff-Quik for rapid reporting within five minutes and one touch preparation of tumour for rapid reporting within five minutes.
· Long cases – the format is similar to that of the long cases in the Part 2 histopathology examination, but with two cervical cytology cases, including at least one with histology correlation/interpretation and two surgical histology cases.
· Macroscopic specimens – the format will be that of the Part 2 histopathology examination.
· Oral examination – this is conducted by the internal and external examiner and may relate to any aspect of diagnostic cytopathology and the role of cytology in the breast and cervical screening programmes and the management of the latter.