Learn more about our Member Spotlight of the month, Ms. Christy Kiekenbush from her conversation with Membership Committee Member Ms. Tracie Drew.
Member Spotlight Interview
1. How did you first find out about cytology?
I first found out about cytology incidentally, after my university sent out a recruitment email to all students majoring in biological or health sciences.
2. What drew you to this profession?
I was initially drawn to the academic curriculum, as I was interested in learning the pathologies of various organ systems. I became further interested as I learned how detail-oriented and complex the work can be.
3. Tell us about an interesting case or situation that you’ve encountered in your practice that has had a lasting impact on you.
Since there are so many interesting cases, it is difficult to select just one. I find the most interesting cases to be those that require not just morphologic evaluation, but a combination of clinical information and multiple ancillary tests including, but not limited to immunohistochemistry and molecular markers. The blend of various methodologies to arrive at a definitive diagnosis is both fascinating and at times challenging, which is part of the intrigue of cytopathology, and one of the reasons why I find it to be rewarding.
4. What is the most rewarding thing that has happened to you in cytology?
Obtaining a cytotechnologist travel scholarship from the ASC Foundation in 2008 was particularly rewarding as it enabled me to attend my first ASC Annual Scientific Meeting. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve attended every meeting since then.
5. What do you like best about being a cytotechnologist?
I find using my own independent knowledge and interpretative skills to be the most gratifying part of being a cytotechnologist. I also enjoy the collaborative effort between cytotechnologists and pathologists, as well as the multi-disciplinary collaboration with other clinicians.
6. What do you value most about your membership in the ASC?
The most valuable part of my ASC membership is the motivation it inspires to further my own knowledge and that of the profession. The ASC is composed of incredibly motivated and talented individuals who are truly passionate about helping patients and advancing the profession. An ASC membership provides more than just professional development – it provides inspiration and opportunities to extend the positive impact of your work to new heights.
7. Do you have a memory from the ASC that you would like to share?
While at the 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore, I received a scholarship awarded through BD Diagnostics and the ASC Foundation to defray the costs of volunteering at CerviCusco, a clinic that provides cervical cancer screening for underprivileged Peruvian women in South America. This is just one of many examples of how the ASC provides wonderful opportunities to its members and makes a difference in the lives of patients worldwide.