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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The challenges of histology education

Eng‐Tat, Ang, Liu, Pai, R, Jitesh, M, Chandrika, R.L, Satish, Lian, Wen Quan Derrick, Huppertz, Berthold, Khamuani, Munesh and Minarcik, John R. (2023) The challenges of histology education. Clinical Anatomy, 36 (2). pp. 308-314. ISSN 0897-3806

Item Type: Article


Generations of students have struggled to learn histology. They have found the subject extremely dry and the nomenclature very challenging. Insidiously, histology is fading from the minds of stakeholders. Unless this is rectified, it is not inconceivable that the subject will be further diluted in the medical curriculum. What contributing factors could there be? Via a survey and focus group discussions, international faculty (n = 111) were asked what the challenges in teaching histology were. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and stratified by the number of teaching years. A collaborative teaching session with a pathologist was also delivered to the YLLSoMM1 students (n = 280), who gave opinions about it. Of the international faculty, 85 (±1)% responded. Among those, 60 (±1)% felt that the pedagogy should be reformed (e.g., by gamification). Interestingly, 30 (±1)% opined that organ system histology should be moved into the clinical years. Notably, 70 (±1)% of teachers preferred to teach face to face (FTF) using either microscopes or virtual microscopy. Among the students, 71 (±1)% reported self-teaching from online resources. Significantly, 88 (±1)% of M1 students agreed that having the pathologist co-teach histology was beneficial. Some teachers, and most students, struggle with histology. There is a generational divide in opinions concerning how histology should be taught. The traditionalists wish to maintain the status quo while the reformists want changes. Learners want to be engaged with hybrid approaches aided by the pathologist. They also welcome more clinical context during histology lessons.

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More Information

Depositing User: Delphine Doucet


Item ID: 16719
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0897-3806
Official URL:

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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2023 12:40
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2023 12:40


Author: Ang Eng‐Tat
Author: Pai Liu
Author: Jitesh R
Author: Chandrika M
Author: Satish R.L
Author: Wen Quan Derrick Lian
Author: Berthold Huppertz
Author: Munesh Khamuani
Author: John R. Minarcik

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Medicine


Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Education > Higher Education

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