Survey of Institutional Teaching Approaches to Clinical-Year Clinical Pathology Instruction and Comparison with Prior Survey Results

Jennifer L. Johns, Mary M. Christopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teaching approaches to veterinary clinical pathology in the final (clinical) year of veterinary school are often different than those for other specialties. Anecdotally, many schools teach these rotations separately from the routine diagnostic service, but minimal published data are available on this topic or on approaches to teaching and assessment in these rotations. An online survey of 69 veterinary institutions around the world was conducted in 2019. A total of 30 completed surveys were received from 10 countries; 22 completed responses were from North American institutions (73.3%). Survey question categories included information on basic rotations, including microscopy format, personnel involved in instruction, and assessment methods; information on advanced rotations; and challenges and successes with clinical pathology instruction. Data were analyzed and, when appropriate, compared with results from a similar survey conducted in 1997. Formats and content varied greatly among institutions. Several shifts in teaching strategies and rotation format over time were found since the 1997 survey, including increased use of projection microscopy and decreased use of multiheaded microscopy in 2019. More teaching by medical technologists and residents, less teaching by faculty, and a significant increase in the number of students per rotation were seen in 2019 compared with 1997. Several free-text comments referred to challenges related to increasing class size. These data and the comparison with the prior survey highlight common challenges and potential solutions to final-year clinical pathology instruction. Creation of specific, measurable objectives for clinical pathology competence may aid future development and refinement of clinical pathology teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-678
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of veterinary medical education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • curriculum
  • diagnostic laboratory
  • educational methods
  • laboratory medicine
  • pathology/clinical pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • veterinary(all)


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