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URMC / Pathology & Laboratory Medicine / Read Our Blog / January 2020 / Grant Piloting New Tech to Integrate Pathology into Medical Curriculum

Grant Piloting New Tech to Integrate Pathology into Medical Curriculum

Medical studentsThe University of Rochester Educational IT Governance Committee has awarded a grant to introduce the web platform Padlet Backpack into the curriculum for students at the School of Medicine & Dentistry and School of Nursing.

The nearly $13,600 grant funded by the committee and the Institute for Innovative Education will give students and instructors the chance to use Padlet Backpack as part of their class curriculum. If the program proves successful, the program could later be adopted University-wide.  

The proposal was led by principal investigator Jennifer Findeis-Hosey, M.D., associate professor and instructor for the School of Medicine who was recently named Vice Chair for Education for Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

Padlet Backpack is the institutional version of Padlet, a secure, web-based application that facilitates students and instructors extending curricular discussions outside of the classroom through the use discussion boards.  

How will it work? 

Medical students who participate in anatomy labs during their first year will have the opportunity to take tissue samples of areas of interest with macroscopic pathologic changes.  

The same tissue will then undergo histologic preparation (a process carried out by professional staff in Surgical Pathology at Strong Memorial Hospital) so they can see the correlation between the macroscopic and microscopic pathology.  

The “macroscopic” and microscopic photos can then be used in Padlet Backpack so the students and instructors can discuss a diagnosis based on what they see in the images. Key to these discussions is learning how to recognize what’s normal and what could be visually indicative of disease – which is exactly what a pathologist does.

“I think from the pathology side, it’s nice because it helps emphasize what pathology does,” said Findeis-Hosey. “It gives us a space to interact with medical students early in their medical education training.”

The School of Nursing will use Padlet Backpack in its Management of Care Course, which is one of the final courses in its accelerated program for non-nurses. Rather than using photos, the platform will serve as a place for discussion and brainstorming for class projects.

The grant began Jan. 1, 2020 and instructors plan to have the application in their curriculum for the fall. 

Co-P.I.’s on the grant include Martha Gdowski, Sarah Peyre, Tara Serwetnyk, Marjorie Shaw, and Andrew Wolf.  

Bethany Bushen | 1/6/2020

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