Volume 203, Issue 4 p. 871-876
Original Paper

Tissue pathology in undergraduate medical education: atrophy or evolution?

Karen Mattick

Karen Mattick

Institute of Clinical Education, Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth PL6 8BX, UK

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Rob Marshall

Corresponding Author

Rob Marshall

Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro TR1 3LJ, UK

Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro TR1 3LJ, UK.Search for more papers by this author
John Bligh

John Bligh

Institute of Clinical Education, Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth PL6 8BX, UK

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First published: 08 July 2004
Citations: 13

Abstract

Changes are occurring in undergraduate medical curricula and there is limited published information about how contemporary tissue pathology is taught. The aim of this study was to collect information on this topic and to invite expert opinion about best teaching practice. A postal questionnaire survey of medical schools in the UK was performed, with a response rate of 23/28 schools (82%). The two most striking findings were the variation in teaching and learning strategies between schools and the spirit of the respondents, some relishing the challenges associated with reorganization and some thoroughly demoralized. The main concerns about pathology teaching were a feeling of lack of ownership of the content taught, an overall lack of visibility of tissue pathology in teaching and assessment, and staff shortages. Respondents valued the autopsy as an educational tool but were finding it increasingly difficult to provide. On the other hand, key opportunities for pathology teaching were highlighted through the questionnaire. The potential for developments in information technology and the possibility of creating national forums to develop core curricula and generate e-resources was recognized. The findings of this study will provide a milestone against which future change in pathology education can be measured. Copyright © 2004 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.