Foundation of the IAC in Belgium

Black and white image of the Founders Committee sitting around a round table.

The International Academy of Cytology was founded in 1957 in Brussels, Belgium during the UICC Congress. The actual location of the Founders meeting was the Conference Hall of the Fédéracion des Societées coloniales in 34, Rue de Stassart.

A Founders Committee of 27 individuals from 19 countries accepted the suggested Constitution and Bylaws. George N. Papanicoloau was installed as Honorary President.

Immediately afterwards, Acta Cytologica was established by the then appointed Editor, George L. Wied, as official journal of the Academy.

The First International Congress took place in 1961 in Vienna and every three years since.
The photo on the left shows some of the members of the Founders Committee in Brussels, Belgium on July 13, 1957

The History of the International Academy of Cytology Comprehensive Cytotechnology Examination

CT(IAC) exam early days

By Catherine M. Keebler, ScD. (hon), CFIAC, May 2010

In 1968, under the direction of Professor George L. Wied, the development of the first international examination in any paramedical field was undertaken: the Comprehensive Cytotechnology Examination. The examination was initially estabished as a means for those cytotechnologists who passed the examination to become eligible for Cytotechnologist Membership in the International Academy of Cytology (IAC). The examination was also intendedto provide a test for cytotechnologists in countries where no national cytotechnology examination existed.

The IAC Statutes were amended in 1970 to enable the appointment of the first examination committee. Doctor Josef Zajicek of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden was appointed to oversee the examination. The original Committee consisted 10 medical members and one cytotechnologist member. Mr. George Wikeley of South Africa. Doctor Zajicek served as chairman until 1977.

Professor Wied and I were invited to develop the examination, Initially we worked with Professor Benjamin Wright and his staff in the Department of Education at the University of Chicago. Professor Wright, and an associate, Mark Stone, had authored a book entitled “Best Test Design” based on a test model patterned after the work of a Danish test expert, George Rasch.

An examinee when faced with an examination question should have at least a fifty percent chance of making a correct choice. It was felt by Professor Wright that the encounter with a test item should be entirely governed by the ability of the examinee and the difficulty of the test item.

A row of microscopes on tables

Once the examination was developed we were required to pretest the examination with experienced cytotechnologists in current practice. Professor Wied enticed many prominent cytopathologists to send their “best” cytotechnologists to Chicago to sit for the first IAC Comprehensive Cytotechnology Examination in 1971. This group of 70 cytotechnologists helped us to establish the reliability and validity of the examination. Statistical evaluations of the examination were evaluated by Mrs. M. Hollerman, a statistician from the University of Chicago Computation Center. Six grading systems were evaluated.

In order to come up with a unique computerized grading system for the evaluation of the microscopic examination, I worked with James A. Bobula, PhD., a faculty member from the Department of Education from the University of Illinois. Together we developed the current system for evaluation of performance on the Microscope test. We called it the ABCD formula. For each candidate, we obtain an A score that is equal to the number of correct responses, a B number that includes judgemental errors, a C number equal to the number of overread cases and the number of Devaluations which is equal to the number of false negative cancer cases. This grading system is unique to the International Academy of Cytology.

Over the past 37 years, we will have tested 11,119 cytotechnologists from around the world. (2010)

Image of several issues of ACTA Cytologica
Historic Content from the ACTA Journal

Click here to see some selected articles of historic content published in Acta Cytologica.