Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18

Improving medical students' understanding of pediatric diseases through an innovative and tailored web-based digital pathology program with philips pathology Tutor (Formerly PathXL)

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

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jennifer L Picarsic
Department of Pathology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 4401 Penn Ave., B260 Main Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA 15224
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_15_19

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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.

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