Cytopathology Fellowship | MedStar Georgetown MedStar Health

The MedStar Health—Georgetown University Hospital Fellowship Program in Cytopathology

The Yolanda C. Oertel, MD Cytopathology Fellowship is a one-year cytopathology fellowship that provides the education, clinical experience, and faculty mentorship necessary to train compassionate, skilled, and board-certified cytopathologists. Named for Dr. Yolanda Oertel—a highly respected and recognized pioneer in cytopathology from the Washington, D.C., area—this fellowship provides a strong foundation in the discipline with a special focus on the technical and diagnostic aspects of cytology.

Why train here

Beyond just learning the “diagnostics” of cytology, important issues related to attention to details, evaluation of the technical quality of the cytologic preparations, elimination of discrepancies, sense of responsibility, and the need to compose clearly articulated reports are also emphasized.

Being that this fellowship is a capstone experience for a pathology resident, the faculty are extremely supportive and provide mentorship with respect to modeling practice habits as well as further developing fellow career goals. This fellowship has a special emphasis on making sure the cytopathology training is well rounded.

Program highlights

The fellow will learn from and participate in signing-out cases, performing and interpreting fine-needle aspirations (FNA), assessing adequacy of deep-seated FNA, organizing and conducting intradepartmental conferences, participating in interdisciplinary conferences, teaching the residents and medical students, and participating in the research activities of the department. The fellow interacts with clinicians in many conferences and other consultative ways.


The fellowship is primarily based at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital with rotation at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Throughout the year, the fellow is continuously exposed to all aspects of cytopathology including gynecologic, exfoliative non-gynecologic, fine needle aspiration (FNA) of palpable and deep-seated lesions, and consult cases.  The fellowship is designed to build confidence by gradually increasing expectations and responsibilities.

At the end of the one-year program, the fellow will be well prepared to pass the cytopathology subspecialty exam, have acquired a high level of professional ability to practice confidently and independently, and be capable of supervising a cytopathology laboratory including a fine needle aspiration clinic.


During their training, the fellow is thoroughly involved in many conferences including laboratory quality management and journal club as well as interdisciplinary quality improvement and safety projects and research activities. The fellow participates in many departmental and multidisciplinary tumor board conferences, and is involved in teaching residents, cytotechnologists, and medical students.


Each cytopathology fellow participates in scholarly activity and is provided with opportunities to be involved in the research activities of the department and the institution. The Program Director mentors the fellow to ensure successful completion of at least one project. Project interests are diverse, with a sampling of recent projects below.

Research projects of the fellow, as well as those of the residents in the Department of Pathology, are presented at our annual Research Day, which allows the fellow to showcase his/her work. In addition, the fellow is encouraged to present his/her work at a national meeting.

Application information

Interested in applying?


We are participating in the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) unified recruitment timeline for cytopathology fellowship programs.  Of note, the dates listed below are two years in advance of the fellowship year for which the candidate is applying:

  • Applications will start being reviewed: July 15 (suggested submission window: July-September)
  • Interviews will start being offered: August 15 (suggested interview contact window: August-November)
  • Earliest date to extend an offer to an applicant: October 1 (applicants will have 72 hours to accept/decline)


Candidates who have been selected to interview will be notified via email. During the interview day, each candidate will have the opportunity to interview with members of the faculty and the Program Director. In addition, the applicants will get to have lunch with the current fellow and view our facilities in a tour.  

Visa policy:

J1 visas are sponsored through MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Contact us

Jay C. Zeck, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pathology
Medical Director, Laboratory Medicine
Program Director.  

Giovanna Taylor
Program Coordinator