Often described as “cell detectives”, cytotechnologists like William Ritz are usually the first experts to analyze a slide and begin the diagnosis eventually carried out by a pathologist.
As part of CPA’s collaborative approach, William works closely with pathologists across many specialties to ensure they are providing timely and accurate diagnoses for doctors.
“Every day we work within many different areas of pathology,” said William. “We understand how to work together and that working with different specialties helps us get the most specific diagnosis possible.”
William earned his degree in clinical lab science from the University of Oklahoma after an undergraduate microbiology class sparked an interest in cytotechnology. He began his career as a specialist in cytotechnology, or cytotechnologist, in Temple before joining the CPA Lab in Waco, where he has been for nearly 30 years.
William began the molecular pathology lab at CPA and was instrumental in the growth of the entire molecular department at CPA.
In addition to his molecular pathology lab work, William conducts adequacy assessments for surgery centers and ENT clinics, where he analyzes samples onsite to determine if they are adequate to send to a lab for diagnosis.
“I enjoy seeing patients when performing adequacy assessments,” said William “I’m able to help patients in their hometown and proactively help them get the care they need.”
Hospital and clinic partners rely heavily on the analyses performed by CPA’s cytotechnologists, as do the pathologists they work with. Cytotechnologists’ initial screenings are an essential part of the diagnostic process, as they possess the expertise and experience to perform what can be a daunting task: the initial analysis of a sample.
William sums up a cytotechnologist’s role this way: “You might have half a million cells on a slide and only six or seven have an abnormality, and it’s our job to find those. We’re the first line of defense for analyzing slides and samples that pathologists depend on to make a diagnosis.”
This Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, CPA is proud to celebrate cytotechnologists like William and the work they do every day to deliver excellent patient care.
Learn more about CPA’s work here.