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J Pathol Inform. 2019 Jun 18;10:18. doi: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_15_19. eCollection 2019.

Improving Medical Students' Understanding of Pediatric Diseases through an Innovative and Tailored Web-based Digital Pathology Program with Philips Pathology Tutor (Formerly PathXL).

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2
UPMC Pathology Informatics, PA, USA.
3
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
4
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

Background:

Online "e-modules" integrated into medical education may enhance traditional learning. Medical students use e-modules during clinical rotations, but these often lack histopathology correlates of diseases and minimal time is devoted to pathology teaching. To address this gap, we created pediatric pathology case-based e-modules to complement the clinical pediatric curriculum and enhance students' understanding of pediatric diseases.

Methods:

Philips Tutor is an interactive web-based program in which pediatric pathology e-modules were created with pre-/post-test questions. Each e-module contains a clinical vignette, virtual microscopy, and links to additional resources. Topics were selected based on established learning objectives for pediatric clinical rotations. Pre- and post-tests were administered at the beginning/end of each rotation. Test group had access to the e-modules, but control group did not. Both groups completed the pre/post-tests. Posttest was followed by a feedback survey.

Results:

Overall, 7% (9/123) in the control group and 8% (13/164) in the test group completed both tests and were included in the analysis. Test group improved their posttest scores by about one point on a 5-point scale (P = 0.01); control group did not (P = 1.00). Students responded that test questions were helpful in assessing their knowledge of pediatric pathology (90%) and experienced relative ease of use with the technology (80%).

Conclusions:

Students responded favorably to the new technology, but cited time constraints as a significant barrier to study participation. Access to the e-modules suggested an improved posttest score compared to the control group, but pilot data were limited by the small sample size. Incorporating pediatric case-based e-modules with anatomic and clinical pathology topics into the clinical medical education curriculum may heighten students' understanding of important diseases. Our model may serve as a pilot for other medical education platforms.

KEYWORDS:

Medical education; Philips Tutor; online modules; pediatric pathology; virtual microscopy

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