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Cytotechnologists' Proficiency and Laboratory Regulations-Reply

Loyd R. Wagner, MD
JAMA. 1990;264(15):1946. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450150043017.
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ABSTRACT

In Reply.—  The comments to which Mr Eells refers were made in the context of a discussion of the potential adverse effects of the proficiency testing requirements for cytotechnologists and cytopathologists in the March 14, 1990, Final Rule. They were not intended to denigrate the professional capabilities of cytotechnologists, who are needed and valued members of the medical team that provides essential cytology services.The March 14, 1990, final regulations for the first time apply proficiency testing requirements to individuals and treat cytotechnologists and cytopathologists the same. To hold cytotechnologists to the same standard of performance in diagnostic expertise as a pathologist is unrealistic and is not consistent with the way cytology is practiced in the real world. Proficiency testing that focuses on the laboratory as a totality would be more realistic, for it is the quality of the diagnostic information provided to the physician for the treatment of the

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