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October 17, 1990

Cytotechnologists' Proficiency and Laboratory Regulations

Author Affiliations

American Society for Cytotechnology Durham, NC

American Society for Cytotechnology Durham, NC

JAMA. 1990;264(15):1945-1946. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450150043016

To the Editor.—  A recent Medical News article1 summarizes the cytology community's opposition to some areas of the Final Rule, which revises Medicaid, Medicare, and Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act 67 programs. As an organization, we in the American Society for Cytotechnology agree at least in principle with many of the points made in the article.The American Society for Cytotechnology does, however, disagree with the contention credited to Drs Lundberg and Wagner that cytotechnologists are trained to do nothing more than "separate normals from abnormals and pass the abnormals on to the laboratory pathologist for his/her review." That statement indicates a lack of understanding of the real capabilities of cytotechnologists.The fact of the matter is, the majority of pathologists in this country expect the cytotechnologist to render a specific preliminary interpretation on cytological specimens, both gynecologic and nongynecologic. These opinions are actively sought by most pathologists because they