National E-learning Survey Among Histopathology ST1 Trainees
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National E-learning Survey Among Histopathology ST1 Trainees Ashirwad Merve 1 , Nick Griffin 2 1 Royal Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust 2 Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Introduction. E) Popular websites. F) Computer facilities at work. III. Images. A) Image preference 1.

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National E-learning Survey Among Histopathology ST1 Trainees

Ashirwad Merve1, Nick Griffin2

1Royal Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust 2Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


E) Popular websites

F) Computer facilities at work

III. Images

A) Image preference 1

B) Image preference 2

  • Electronic learning or e-learning is an all-encompassing term to describe learning supported by the use of information and communication technology. It is portable, accessible at multiple sites, can handle multiple complex images and it provides option of self assessment

  • Some emerging e-learning projects are already delivering high-quality learning solutions on a national scale, and are driving up standards by providing greater consistency and reliability in terms of quality and experience

  • The Royal College of Pathologists is hoping to work with Department of Health to develop a comprehensive e-learning training application along the lines of that developed for radiology (RITI; Radiology Integrated Training Initiative)

  • The current upcoming RCPath project is comprehensive and proposed to develop along the principles of ‘Wikipedia’ to include specific topics on wide range of pathology and to incorporate image banks and discussions

Preference Reasons

53% Still Images - Quicker to


- Focussed

47% Whole slide - Realistic

Scan images - More


* Other – Pathology outlines,e-medicine, wikipedia,IHC

Main reason for ‘not satisfactory was - Too few computers


* 59% used on-line images at least once a week for learning proposes

C) Should RCPath e-learning project incorporate whole slide scans (virtual microscopy)?


  • This survey was carried out on behalf of the Histopathology Training School Board (HTSB). The survey was mainly focussed on the views of the trainees on the current e-learning resource ‘Histopathnet’ and the upcoming RCPath developments in e-learning


D) Preferences -

static images (single magnification) vs

virtual microscopy (multiple magnifications)

E) Access to virtual microscopy at local school?

  • A questionnaire was designed to include questions under 3 topics – 1) Use of online facilities for education/training 2) Histopathnet and 3) Images

  • Initially a pilot survey was carried out at northern block teaching and later, completed with nationwide e-mail responses.

  • All responses were anonymised

A) Frequency of logging on

B) Histopathnet mostly used for (n=43)

Quicker to download

YES 15%

NO 75%


Rank 1 Cases (>50%)

Rank 2 Images

Rank 3 Study areas

Rank 4 Links

Realistic and details are better appreciated

8 trainees –

Completely unaware

of histopathnet

? Scottish


C) Cases section

  • Response rate was 51/84 trainees (61%)

Summary: 57% of trainees used on-line education facilities on a daily basis, with a further 24% weekly. 82% reported on-line study was mainly at the workplace. Popular sites included Histopathnet and RCPath. Online facilities were used mostly for literature reviews, case reviews and text book access. 84% rated computer facilities at the workplace as excellent or satisfactory. Within Histopathnet, the ‘Cases’ section was most popular with 79% rating this excellent or satisfactory. 75% of them supported for development of virtual microscopy images within the RCPath development

I. Use of on-line facilities of education/training

A) Frequency

B) Mainly used at

Time constrains

Risk of factual errors, Most cases too complicated


1 hour


Good mix of cases, Short cases


  • The on-line resources are used for both general and specific topics

  • There seems to be a regional variation in the awareness regarding Histopathnet

  • There was a general support that RCPath should incorporate virtual microscopy images in the developing e-learning project

  • ST 1 trainees are clearly IT literate and actively using e-learning resources

  • This should encourage the further development of high quality electronic resources

C) On-line facilities

D) Google

* Others - Images, IHC, datasets

  • 1) ‘Development of e-learning for doctors’- report by the academy of medical royal colleges September 2007

  • 2) – electronic learning resources shared by histopathology training schools across the UK

  • 3) – Royal College of Pathologists web source

  • 4) RCPath e-learning questionnaire’- survey by Dr Jem Rashbass, October 2007

  • 5) Good Medical Practice and guidance on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by General Medical Council, April 2004

  • 6) Wilson S, Denison AR & McKenzie H. A survey of clinical teaching fellowships in the UK

  • medical schools. Medical Education; 2008: 42: 170-175

    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Sue Cossins (Training School Administrator) and ST1 trainees 2007-2008

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