Digital Veterinary Cytology and Social Media Teaching with Kate Baker, Veterinary Cytology Schoolhouse

In the world of anatomic digital pathology, the mention of digital cytology usually causes thoughts of challenges associated with it and thoughts why it is difficult. We are often not aware that digital pathology and image analysis application started with digital hematology and cytology (e.g. image analysis-based pap smear evaluation) and that in veterinary medicine digital cytology is a booming discipline.

Today’s episode’s guest, Dr. Kate Baker, is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist who has embraced the digital cytology journey even before she was doing diagnostic work on whole slide images.

Her digital pathology journey started with a Facebook group – Veterinary Cytology Coffee House where she started teaching veterinary cytology with static images. The group kept growing and reached sixty-two thousand members in January 2022. Group members kept asking for more digital cytology resources, so she created two RACE-approved courses for veterinary professionals and a monthly membership site – The Cytology Clubhouse. Currently, she does digital cytology on whole slide images in collaboration with a veterinary laboratory – Scopio.

Now confident with digital cytology images she remembers that there was a transition period when she needed her glass slides alongside the digital image to feel confident that she is not missing anything. As she experienced how the glass slides and the digital images consistently carry the same diagnostic information, she needed to consult the glass less and less until it was not necessary anymore.

The glass vs digital slide comparison is usually part of the digital pathology system validation and giving pathologists some time to adjust to the new modality with access to both digital images and glass slides during the adjustment period helps them gain confidence and be sure that they are still doing the best job possible.

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