Essentials of Cytology: On Demand

6 months access


Fully flexible delivery

8 CPD points


Certificate on completion

Essentials of

Cytology is a widely-used and accessible diagnostic tool for lumps and bumps across all levels of veterinary practice. It can be in-house, quick, inexpensive, and instantly gratifying. Yet the overall value of cytology depends on variables like case selection, sampling technique, specimen handling, and the skill of interpretation. Are you choosing the right tool for the job?

This course contains four modules of flexible learning material based on a series of one-hour webinars recorded live with Dr Andrea Schaffer-White in 2022. Each module is accompanied by supporting materials like images, reference articles and how-to guides.

Your new skills start with how to identify which lesions lend themselves to cytology, and how to systematically interpret what you see down the microscope to reach your diagnosis.

This course is perfect for those who enjoy visual learning, and is open to vets, nurses and technicians. We encourage anyone with an interest in pathology to register.

Cytology in clinical practice

  • FNA techniques
  • Inflammatory versus neoplastic cells 
  • Round cells versus spindle cells versus epithelial cells?
  • Features of malignancy

Flexible CPD, whenever you’re ready

This flexible online learning course is made up of four modules based on our 2022 webinar series with Dr Andrea Schaffer-White: a veterinarian, veterinary anatomic pathologist and experienced educator. The material is divided into four distinct modules so you can focus on one topic at a time, building your skills and confidence. This is highly visual course with a vast collection of real clinical samples and high-quality images to show you exactly what you need to see to make your diagnosis.







Featured topics
  • FNAs: making good choices
  • Practical sample preparation & handling
  • Decision making for cytology
  • Setting yourself up for success
Everyday application in veterinary medicine
  • Differentiating inflammation from neoplasia
  • Analysing inflammatory cell types and their significance
  • Classifying round, epithelial and spindle cell neoplasms
  • Identifying and interpreting features of malignancy


Module 1 – Art meets science in cytology

Why do some lesions lend themselves to FNA sampling, yet others do not? Consider the cases where cytology is likely to yield a diagnostic result and how to prepare those samples. This module explores inflammatory cells (neutrophils, eosinophils, monocytoid cells including lymphocytes, plasma cells and macrophages) versus the three broad categories of neoplastic cells (round, spindle and epithelial). 

Module 2 – Round cell neoplasia

This module is a very visual journey of round cells, including mast cells, lymphocytes, plasma cells, histiocytic cells, and rare venereal tumour cells. Explore the criteria for cytologic grading of mast cell tumours.

Module 3 – Spindle cell neoplasia

If you struggle to identify spindle cells based on cytology, you are not alone! This module examines spindle cells and what to make of them in the clinic. How do cytologic findings correlate with histology?

Module 4 – Epithelial cell neoplasia

Can you identify epithelial cells based on cytology? What cell types broadly fall into the category of epithelial cells and what tissue areas other than the epidermis exfoliate epithelial cells? This module covers some common epithelial cell-derived lesions, look at features of malignancy as well as some very malignant tumours that commonly lack typical features of malignancy. Hint: glandular tissue is very tricky.



Four modules of flexible online learning & a $497 investment in your CPD


In-house diagnostic skills directly applicable to clinical practice


8 CPD points, plus updated clinical & diagnostic skills to benefit your clients

Your Educator

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Dr Andrea Schaffer-White

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Qualifications: BVSc, BA, Postgrad.Dip.Ed.

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Specialisation:  Anatomic Pathology

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Graduating from the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2007, Andrea spent several years in mixed and small animal practice before completing her residency in anatomic pathology at UQ in 2014. Andrea continued to work at the UQ Pathology Department, enjoying teaching vet students and participating in various research projects.

In 2015, she headed up the opening of a new small and privately-owned veterinary pathology laboratory in Brisbane, where she now spends her days reviewing cases, reading biopsies, interpreting cytology samples and providing a lifeline to vets!



$497 AUD


x 4 monthly payments of $137

Your Questions Answered

What is “On Demand”?

We created the On Demand series because you asked us for longer course access. The veterinary industry can throw busy times at us, and we received more and more requests from individuals who needed more time to complete their online courses. We think 6 months is the sweet spot – you have plenty of time to work through your CPD, and we can regularly review and update the content to make sure the course stays relevant. You can revisit the materials as often as you wish.

How and when do I access learning materials?

We use a one-stop learning platform for our web-based courses. It’s intuitive, simple and easy to navigate, and we’ll email login details to you as soon as your purchase is confirmed. You can access notes, recordings and resources any time of day or night via your personalised course library. You don’t have to watch a whole video in one sitting, and you’re in complete control. 

How long is course access open?

24/7 access is available for 6 months via your course library, starting on your purchase date. For example, if you sign up on July 1st, your access will be open until January 1st the following year. We’ve chosen 6 months because veterinary medicine moves fast and our goal is to provide up to date learning materials to the VetPrac community. The education team will assess, review and update the course at the end of the subscription period. This way, we know we’re offering only current and relevant information. 

What happens when time runs out?
At the end of 6 months, your subscription will end. You’ll still be able to log in to your course library, but the on-demand course you’ve completed will disappear from the list of courses available to you. We will email you at the end of your access period, so you can download any resources you need for future use.
What kind of learning materials are included?
Each course is different but they all include video presentations recorded live during our most popular online courses and webinars. Our educators also provide a variety of other resources, so you can expect images, diagrams, course notes, slide presentations, journal articles, links to further reading, and more.
Is there learning support available?
Of course! We’ll stay in touch with a monthly email to check in with you, and share important information with you. We’ll also remind you when your access is about to finish. If you need a hand (or if you just want to chat) our online learning team is available via email [email protected] or on 0491 943 260.
Are there assessments to complete?
Yes, but they’re not mandatory. At the end of the course there will be multiple-choice questions available through the learning platform. You’ll need to pass these to receive your CPD certificate.
Will I get CPD points and a CPD certificate?

You certainly can! Each registration you will receive a CPD certificate with your points. All you need to do is complete the quiz questions at the end of the course. We’ll generate your certificate and email it to you.

Can I extend access beyond 6 months?
In most cases, yes, we can arrange this for you. It depends on recent developments in the field and whether our educators feel the information in the course is current and up to date. Some clinical areas are undergoing rapid change – we’re happy to chat about this towards the end of your subscription.

Still have questions? We’ve got answers.