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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2019 Jan-Mar;62(1):84-90. doi: 10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_241_18.

Randomized cross-over study and a qualitative analysis comparing virtual microscopy and light microscopy for learning undergraduate histopathology.

Author information

1
Department of Pathophysiology, Windsor University School of Medicine, St. Kitts and Nevis.
2
Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, St. George's University School of Medicine, St. George's, Grenada.

Abstract

Background:

Virtual microscopy (VM) use in teaching and learning is increasing worldwide. However, there is a paucity of information comparing it to light microscopy (LM) in learning undergraduate histopathology. We investigated whether VM or LM had a higher impact on student learning and performance in histopathology. In addition, we investigated whether students preferred VM over LM, and whether VM use provided a platform to fulfill the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies.

Materials and Methods:

We used a sequential exploratory mixed method study design. A qualitative phase inquiring about student preference for VM or LM was followed by a randomized cross-over study. Student preference was measured by an online survey based on a Likert scale. In the cross-over study, students were randomized to either the VM or the LM arm, and their mean scores in standardized exams were compared after using VM and LM.

Results:

A total of 152 students completed the qualitative study and a total of 64 students participated in the cross-over study. Eighty-three percent (83%) of the students preferred to use VM over LM. Students who used VM scored significantly (P < 0.001) higher [(87.1% vs. 72.4%) and (85.3% vs. 76.1%)], respectively, in both phases of the cross-over study compared to those who used LM.

Conclusions:

Using VM to learn histopathology has significantly increased student learning and performance compared to using LM.

KEYWORDS:

Competency-based education; digital histopathology; light microscopy; undergraduate medical education; virtual microscopy; whole slide imaging

PMID:
30706865
DOI:
10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_241_18
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