Teaching cytopathology to second-year medical students: An interactive, case-based approach

David M. Steinberg, Theresa Y. Chan, Joan A. Freedman, L. Allan Grimm, Luke Ling, Harold P. Lehmann, Frances H. Burroughs, Dorothy L. Rosenthal, Syed Z. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To develop and implement an electronic, interactive, case-based cytopathology educational system for second-year medical students. STUDY DESIGN: Ten different learning modules, corresponding to various organ systems in pathology and encompassing the essence of clinical cytopathology, were developed. The modules are software-based, menu driven, digital programs that are displayed on a computer monitor and can be projected onto a large screen via LCD projectors. Each module takes 15-20 minutes to complete and contains three to four case-based interactive clinical scenarios. Each case contains sequenced, multiple-choice questions with immediate feedback. Each module also includes an atlas mode for viewing all the case images plus additional images to enrich the learning experience. RESULTS: Preliminary feedback from students taking the pathology course has shown encouraging responses. The students enjoyed the practical approach of the modules, finding them easy to use. Their interest level remained high as they discovered how their general medical knowledge could apply to solving real-life clinical cytopathology cases. CONCLUSION: By utilizing these unique instructional modules in the second-year pathology course, medical students learn the application of clinical cytopathology in everyday medical practice. This not only provides them with the theoretical background and morphologic knowledge of the diseases taught but also gives them the ability to apply it in simulated real-life clinical scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-489
Number of pages9
JournalActa cytologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Computers
  • Cytopathology
  • Medical education, undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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