Transition to Virtual Microscopy in Medical Undergraduate Pathology Education: First Experience of Turkey in Dokuz Eylül University Hospital / Tıp Fakültesi Mezuniyet Öncesi Patoloji Eğitiminde Sanal Mikroskopiye Geçiş: Dokuz Eylül Üniversite Hastanesi’nde Türkiye’nin İlk Deneyimi

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Objective: Pathology education includes an important visual part supporting a wide range of theoretical knowledge. However, the use of traditional microscopes in pathology education has declined over the last decade and there is a lack of interest for microscopy. Virtual microscopy, which was first described in 1985 and has experienced a revolution since 2000, is an alternative technique to conventional microscopy, in which microscopic slides are scanned to form digital images and stored in the web. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of virtual microscopy in practical pathology sessions and its effects on our students and undergraduate education at our faculty.

Material and Method: Second and third year medical students who were used to conventional microscopes were included in the study. The practical sessions were carried out via virtual slides and the effect of the new technique was investigated by a scale at the end of each session. Academic staff from the pathology department joined sessions to promote discussion and respond to questions. Student ratings were analysed statistically.

Results: The evaluation of the ratings showed that the students were easily adapted to the use of virtual microscopy. They found it user-friendly and thought that the opportunity of viewing slides at home was advantageous. Collaboration between students and interactive discussions was also improved with this technique.

Conclusion: It was concluded that the use of virtual microscopy could contribute to the pathology education of our students.

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