[Postgraduate study in clinical cytology since 1967—foundation and impact on the development of cytology in Croatia]

Inga Crepinko, Ika Kardum-Skelin, Vesna Mahovlić, Katja Kudrna-Prasek
Acta Medica Croatica: C̆asopis Hravatske Akademije Medicinskih Znanosti 2008, 62 (4): 335-42
In Croatia, clinicians were the first to introduce clinical cytology in the first half of the 20th century. At that time, Beata Brauzil introduced morphological diagnosis in hematology and educated a critical number of clinicians and other enthusiasts interested in cytology. Following the 1963 World Health Organization guidelines on the value of cytodiagnosis in the early detection of cancer and the need of respective education in cytology of medical students, clinicians, pathologists and other professionals, Erik Hauptmann, an internist (as the first head) and Ante Zimolo, a pathologist, initiated foundation of the Postgraduate Study in Medical/Clinical Cytology (PSMCC) in 1967. The study curriculum has since been revised twice, i.e. in 1996 with the introduction of professional studies and in 2005 as a specialist study. During the 40 years of its existence, 31 postgraduate studies have been organized, with 407 students enrolled, 380 students that completed the study and 119 students having acquired the MS degree. The efforts invested by the PSMCC students and lecturers contributed to the development of clinical cytology. The Section of Cytology and Cytodiagnosis (now Croatian Society of Clinical Cytology) of the Croatian Medical Association was founded in 1970. However, the good theoretical basis provided by PSMCC but inadequate practical work pointed to the need of the respective residency, founded in 1974. Then, PSMCC became an integral part of residency in clinical cytology. In the scope of the Croatia's pursuit of EU membership, the Task Force for Cytology of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Croatia has prepared the Residency Curriculum Proposal within the frame of clinical morphology professions with a common basis and directed towards cytopathology. In 1968, only one year of the PSMCC foundation, Inga Crepinko organized the first form of additional training for cytotechnicians. Accordingly, the foundation of PSMCC had driven a number of factors that have resulted in 48 units of clinical cytology currently active in 21 Croatian towns, employing 128 clinical cytologists, 13 other specialists and 122 cytotechnologists.

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