Diagnostic Cytology

What to expect from a career in Diagnostic Cytology

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada; diagnostic cytologists are integral in the fight against this deadly disease. Diagnostic cytologists identify and diagnose precancerous and cancerous cells, as well as other cellular infections. Ontario college diagnostic cytology programs will lead students into rewarding careers in the medical industry, as part of an invaluable health care team.

If you’re interested in analyzing and understanding cell specimens and want to help in the fight against cancer as a diagnostic cytologist, here’s what you need to know.

Diagnostic Cytology Courses

Diagnostic cytology programs at Ontario colleges are extremely intensive. Theory and lab courses will provide students with the specialized knowledge to analyze and diagnose cell anomalies, specifically cancer and other major diseases.

Students will prepare specimens, use microscopes to analyze them and provide reports on their findings. Programs mix theory, simulated lab clinics and field placements to ensure students have the best chance at success. Course subjects may include pathology, microanatomy and gynecological cytology.

Students will also have many opportunities to work under Registered Cytologists and other medical professionals. They will learn how to work as part of a collaborative medical team that provides patients with a diagnosis and treatment options.

General Diagnostic Cytology Program Requirements

Ontario college diagnostic cytology programs are post-graduate diplomas for students with medical science or laboratory backgrounds. Students must meet one of these requirements to be considered:

Students with the degree background may also require specific university courses. Check program requirements carefully.

Diagnostic Cytology Jobs and Salaries

Diagnostic cytologists often spend most of their time in a lab looking through a microscope (rarely dealing directly with patients). As a graduate of the program, there are career opportunities in hospitals, research labs and clinics. You could also end up in educational institutions, working as a lab manager or another advanced career as your expertise grows.

Graduates will also be prepared to write the national certification exam to become Registered Cytologists, which will help them find jobs and qualify for better salaries.

As a registered diagnostic cytologist, you’ll enjoy a high starting salary, at anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 or more.

Ontario Colleges Offering Diagnostic Cytology Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of diagnostic cytology programs at Ontario colleges.

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