Learn more about Lorene Yoxtheimer, MD, a Cytopathology Fellow Member of the ASC and our Member Spotlight of the month, from her conversation with Membership Committee member Stacy Molnar, SCT(ASCP).
Lorene Yoxtheimer, MD
Papanicolaou Cytopathology Laboratory
Weill Cornell Medicine
Interviewed by: Stacy Molnar, SCT(ASCP)
University of Toledo Medical Center
1. How did you first find out about cytology?
Although I was aware of the field, I was properly introduced during my residency. The head of anatomic pathology at my program at the time, Dr. De Las Casas, had a passion for cytology that was infectious. He performed many fine needle aspirations (FNAs) himself, and encouraged residents to be hands-on. I performed my first FNA on a soft tissue mass diagnosed as metastatic melanoma under his guidance.
2. What drew you to this profession?
Cytopathology is a unique field within pathology. Seeing patients and performing procedures was particularly enticing to me. I wanted to do more than sit at a desk with a stack of slide trays. In cytopathology, we have the opportunity to look at specimens from multiple organ systems and collaborate with different specialists.
3. Tell us about an interesting case or situation that you have encountered in your practice.
I have been fortunate to see a number of interesting cases like small cell carcinoma or high grade serous carcinoma in Pap Tests. We had a case of metastatic renal cell carcinoma that recurred in the pancreas over 10 years after the nephrectomy was performed. However, my favorite was diagnosing an echinococcal cyst from a liver FNA, an entity I had only read about in textbooks.
4. What do you like best about being a cytopathologist?
I have heard pathologists referred to as the “doctor’s doctor.” I like that we, as cytopathologists, work with physicians in a variety of fields because we see specimens from different areas of the body. I believe that clear communication and teamwork are essential to good patient care. I have worked with a number of talented cytotechnologists, pathologists, and clinicians during my training.
5. What is the most rewarding thing that has happened to you in cytology?
The most rewarding aspect of cytopathology has been teaching residents and medical students. It can be an intimidating field, initially. I try to break it down to the basics.
6. What do you value most about your membership in the ASC?
I value the people and the educational opportunities ASC offers. At meetings, you can attend seminars given by the experts in the field. It is also great to talk to people about research ideas and thoughts on grading systems. I am currently taking suggestions for a New York City grading system!
7. Do you have a memory from the ASC that you would like to share?
As a resident at my first ASC Annual Scientific Meeting, I paid for only one session, the microscopic session with Dr. Cibas. Whether it was signing out cases or making teaching power points, his book had saved me many times. Although initially nervous, I learned so much and was impressed by how