Medical Students’ Perceptions of Pathology and a Proposed Curricular Integration with Histology: A Future Vision of Curricular Change

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Ali Al Khader; Fatima N. Obeidat2; Nisreen Abu Shahin; Nabil A. Khouri; Ezidin G. Kaddumi; Shifaa’ Al Qa’qa’; Tariq N. Al-Shatanawi; Hatem Jaber; Mohamad Al-Saghbini & Nabil Amer


Students’ perceptions and feedback have a significant impact on academic progress. The aim of this study was to determine the perceptions of medical students regarding the cumulative effects of the first year general histology course and the sophomore pathology introductory course, in addition to their perceptions regarding the curricular integration of histology and pathology. In this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire was given to second-year and third-year medical students in the middle of second semester. The questionnaire comprised several items on students’ attitudes toward anatomic pathology, their feedback on the first year general histology and the sophomore pathology courses, and their perceptions regarding the integration of histology and pathology courses. A five-point Likert scale was used. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) v 20 software. Two hundreds and fourteen of the 236 questionnaires distributed were analyzed (response rate = 90.7 %). More than 51 % of the respondents reported that they couldn’t identify the normal tissue counterpart of most practical pathology cases. Only 31.3 % thought their practical histology knowledge was beneficial for them in practical pathology. More than 87 % agreed or strongly agreed that pathology cases need to be co- presented with normal tissue examples. A significant proportion of the respondents (60.7 %) were with merging histology and pathology in integrated courses. Pathology was of career choices for only 15.4 % of the participants. The curricular integration of histology and pathology in the first year needs to be tested, and much effort is needed to increase students’ affinity for anatomic pathology.

KEY WORDS: Pathology; Histology; Medical students.

How to cite this article

AL KHADER, A.; OBEIDAT, F. N.; ABU SHAHIN, N.; KHOURI, N. A.; KADDUMI, E. G.; AL QA’QA’, S.; AL-SHATANAWI, T. N.; JABER, H.; AL-SAGHBINI, M. & AMER, N. Medical students’ perceptions of pathology and a proposed curricular integration with histology: A future vision of curricular change. Int. J. Morphol., 38(1):38-42, 2020.