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J Vet Med Educ. 2014 Winter;41(4):331-6. doi: 10.3138/jvme.0614-063R.

Microscope use in clinical veterinary practice and potential implications for veterinary school curricula.

Abstract

Microscopy (skill of using a microscope) and the concepts of cytology (study of cells) and histology (study of tissues) are most often taught in professional veterinary medicine programs through the traditional method of glass slides and light microscopes. Several limiting factors in veterinary training programs are encouraging educators to explore innovative options for teaching microscopy skills and the concepts of cytology and histology. An anonymous online survey was administered through the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association to Colorado veterinarians working in private practice. It was designed to assess their current usage of microscopes for cytological and histological evaluation of specimens and their perceptions of microscope use in their veterinary education. The first part of the survey was answered by 183 veterinarians, with 104 indicating they had an onsite diagnostic lab. Analysis pertaining to the use of the microscope in practice and in veterinary programs was conducted on this subset. Most respondents felt the amount of time spent in the curriculum using a microscope was just right for basic microscope use and using the microscope for viewing and learning about normal and abnormal histological sections and clinical cytology. Participants felt more emphasis could be placed on clinical and diagnostic cytology. Study results suggest that practicing veterinarians frequently use microscopes for a wide variety of cytological diagnostics. However, only two respondents indicated they prepared samples for histological evaluation. Veterinary schools should consider these results against the backdrop of pressure to implement innovative teaching techniques to meet the changing needs of the profession.

KEYWORDS:

diagnostic laboratory; histology; pathology/clinical pathology

PMID:
25270653
DOI:
10.3138/jvme.0614-063R
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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