The current VIN date & time: Eastern

Basic Skin Cytology (DERM116) Self Study

This course is a self-paced, non-interactive course.

Presenter: David Robson BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Canine Medicine), FANZCVS (Dermatology)
Course Open: January 1 2023-April 30, 2025
Total CE Credit: 2.5
RACE Category: 2.5 hours Medical

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Tuition: VIN Member $58
Prices are listed in US dollars.

Course Information:
As a clinician have you struggled with management of some pruritic patients? As a specialist dermatologist the most common problem I see in referral cases is poor infection management, and this is usually a result of a failure to actually diagnose the infections. With the missed diagnosis, treatment is inappropriate, outcomes are suboptimal, and the case gets referred. The goal of this course is to help you in your clinic tomorrow with the first part of this – better diagnosis by better cytology. A more accurate diagnosis can then lead to more appropriate therapy, and better outcomes for your patients. The focus of the course will be on accurate cytological identification of clinically relevant common skin and ear infections. While that does not sound like much initially, there is much more to this than first appears to get it right, from setting up the microscope, to knowing where and when and how to sample, as well as identification of both relevant and irrelevant findings under the microscope and assessing the significant of the findings. If you want to take your dermatology to the next level, this course is where you need to start.

To earn a certificate of completion the participant must complete all learning modules and score 80% or better on the end-of-course test. Completion of the course will take a minimum of 158 minutes. Participants must complete the participation requirements by April 30, 2025 to be eligible for a certificate.

To learn more about the requirements for earning a Self Study CE certificate, please refer to Self Study CE Certificate Requirements.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • understand basic microscope function, set up and cleaning.
  • understand when and how to sample skin for cytology, and how.
  • understand how to stain samples for examination.
  • identify basic inflammatory cells, common infectious organisms and to reliably semi-quantitate these for both recording and clinical relevance.
  • identify common artefacts and contaminants.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE self-study course is open for enrollment to veterinarians interested in basic skin cytology. This course is open to VIN members only.
Credit Approval: This non-interactive course is approved for 2.5 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians. (RACE 20-905405)

Course Agenda:

Module 1: Basic Skin Cytology
Total Time: 130 minutes
Video: 130 minutes
Polls: 10

Module 2: End of Course Test
Total Time: 27 minutes
Video: 7 minutes
Test: 20 minutes
Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

Module 3: Course Survey
Total Time: 1 minute
Video: 1 minute
Polls: 1

Module 4: Course Evaluation

To learn more about the requirements for earning a Self Study CE certificate, please refer to Self Study CE Certificate Requirements.

Enroll Now  

Tuition: VIN Member $58
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

Enrollment qualifications for Self Study CE:
  1. VIN CE Courses:
    1. VIN CE courses are open to VIN members.
    2. Veterinary support staff must be VSPN members in order to enroll in a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. VSPN CE Courses:
    1. VSPN CE courses are open to veterinary support staff and veterinarians.
    2. Only VIN and VSPN members can enroll in a VSPN CE course.
    3. Veterinarians will only receive credit for those VSPN CE courses that specify in the Accreditation statement that the course is accredited for veterinarians.
  3. Please check the course Level and Prerequisites, Accreditation, and Tuition before enrolling.
  4. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses.
    1. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  5. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to starting the course. If you wish to withdraw after you have started this self-study course, please contact the VSPN office 800-846-0028, ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357