Sean A. McNair, CT(ASCP)CM
Kew Gardens, NY

Examining cells to find cancer and infections today

For Sean, pursuing a career in cytotechnology meant he could understand cancer through a scientific lens. When he was 12 years old, his grandmother passed away from breast cancer and he didn’t understand what was happening to her. He just understood the words, saw that she was sick and one day she was gone. He discovered that a career in cytotechnology would help give him the answers.

My Lab Hero Story

I was paged by the operating room of my institution unexpectedly. The surgeon had a patient with a large thyroid mass which was crushing her trachea. The surgeon asked me to come to the operating room to run a test to rule out a cancerous disease causing the patient’s thyroid tumor. I understood the surgeon needed more information before taking care of his patient. I remotely transmitted the images from the patient’s cytology slides over the hospital’s network to the cytopathologist at her desk so she could make a preliminary diagnosis. Together, we came to the decision that the sample of her thyroid was benign (not cancerous).


“I work with people from all over the world. We are not simply colleagues, we are friends.”

“As a cytotechnologist, I am part of a laboratory team that works tirelessly to ensure patients receive the greatest care possible.”

“As a Cytology educator, I have the ability to define the future quality and impact of Cytology laboratories across the country.”

Necessary Skill Sets
Interest in diseases and infections.
Ability to recognize patterns.

Average Salary: $61,235
Average Supervisor Salary: $71,261

Education Requirements
Bachelor’s degree in science.
Cytotechnologist program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs 
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