Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Vet Med Educ. 2007 Fall;34(4):437-44. doi: 10.3138/jvme.34.4.437.

Introduction and evaluation of virtual microscopy in teaching veterinary cytopathology.

Author information

  • 1North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA. jennifer_neel@ncsu.edu


Virtual microscopy (VM) uses a computer to view digitized slides and is comparable to using a microscope to view glass slides. This technology has been assessed in human medical education for teaching histology and histopathology, but, to the authors' knowledge, no one has evaluated its use in teaching cytopathology in veterinary medical education. We hypothesize that students will respond positively to the use of VM for viewing cytopathology preparations and that the technology can be successfully used for student assessment. To test this hypothesis, we surveyed students regarding their level of satisfaction with features of the VM system, their preference for use of VM in the curriculum, and the potential influence virtual slides may have on student study habits; student performance on a traditional cytopathology practical examination and a similar exam using VM was evaluated. Our results show that student perception of the VM system is generally very positive, with some concerns about resolution and the need for continued exposure to traditional microscopy. Within the curriculum, students indicated a preference for the option of using virtual slides for studying and take-home exercises. Overwhelmingly, students wanted either hybrid laboratory sessions or sessions using glass slides with virtual slides available for study and review. Students identified many VM test-taking features as advantageous compared with traditional glass-slide practical exams as traditionally administered. However, students indicated a strong preference for continued use of traditional microscopy for graded practical exams. Students may be more likely to study slides in preparation for practical examinations if virtual slides are available. Results also indicate that VM can be used successfully for assessment purposes, but students should receive training in using virtual slides if the technology will be used for assessment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for MetaPress.com
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk