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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 166-171

Structured, functional histology practical modules: An answer to medical students’ histology nightmare and the way forward for relevant histology instruction in the Indian undergraduate medical curriculum?

1 Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney 2052, Kensington, Australia
2 Department of Biostatistics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Anatomy, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Tripti Meriel Jacob
Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney 2052, Kensington
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.314019

Background. It is often a challenge to make histology instruction relevant and interesting. We assessed whether structured, worksheet-based histology practical modules with emphasis on functional histology and clinical application, would improve the learning experience and help students focus on relevant functional and clinical correlates. Methods. In eight practical sessions, 100 students worked as two groups, one group undergoing new intervention practical modules and another group undergoing the routine laboratory practical exercises as a control group. For every pair of laboratory practical exercises, the groups alternated. Spot tests administered in the following week assessed identification ability as well as application of knowledge. Feedback was collected in the form of written questionnaires from faculty and students, student focus group discussion and in-depth interviews. Analysis of test scores as well as feedback was done. Results. Test scores were better following the intervention method when comparing the overall score as well as its subcomponents of identification and analysis-type questions (p<0.001). The weaker performers in the class as well as high achievers showed better test scores with the intervention method (p<0.001). Feedback from faculty and students reflected better student experience with the intervention method. Suggestions were made to improve the approach further. Conclusion. Studying histology through structured modules, which emphasize functional and clinical correlates, appears to improve the identification and application ability of the student as well as the student experience.

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