Remote pathology education during the COVID-19 era: Crisis converted to opportunity

Benzion Samueli, Neta Sror, Alan Jotkowitz, Benjamin Taragin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Context: The COVID-19 pandemic led to shutting of education faculties, including clinical clerkships for medical students. Objective: To review a selective for a course in diagnostic pathology geared toward undergraduate medical students, including its design, technical implementation, instructor and student evaluations, and suggestions for options for further adjusting and optimizing the selective. Design: Whole slide images (WSI) were anonymized and students were given remote access to university computers, which were prepared with two freely available WSI viewers. Each topic was taught in a four-part module: Self-assigned reading, lecture via Zoom, quiz based on digital slide sets, and a frontal review of the slides via Zoom. Fifty-nine students participated in the selective. Following the course, students completed an anonymous questionnaire. Results: Of the 59 participants, 42% (n = 25) responded. None of the respondents had any previous instruction in diagnostic pathology. Overall, the course was rated very favorably: 68% (n = 17) gave at least 3 points on a 4-point scale on questions relating to course interest, improvement in understanding of the covered diseases, and how strongly they would recommend a student take this course if given an option. The most significant disadvantage of the class, as reported by 80% (n = 20) were technical challenges in accessing the slides. Conclusion: We believe the course was a success and can be a model for future virtual pathology electives. Great effort should be done to provide technical support to the students. The selective demonstrated value for students and provided much-needed exposure to diagnostic pathology in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151612
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Digital pathology
  • Distance learning
  • Kern's 6-step approach
  • Undergraduate education
  • Zoom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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