Designing assessment of pathology in the undergraduate curriculum

Raymond Mcmahon, Ray F T McMahon, Emyr W. Benbow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The teaching and learning of pathology in undergraduate curricula are changing and the methods of assessment of the pathology component need to change with them. The curricular changes from the older, traditional programmes to newer, more integrated courses, often using a problem-based learning (PBL) approach, are a challenge for pathologists at a time of reduction of academic pathology posts. However, pathologists have a broad range of knowledge and skills that are invaluable in undergraduate teaching, learning and assessment. These should be encouraged in training grades and promoted by established pathologists as 'role models'. Newer forms of assessment provide an opportunity for pathologists to maintain the profile of the discipline since 'assessment drives learning'. These methods include the incorporation of well-designed clinical scenarios with pathological relevance into multiple choice questions (MCQs) and extended matching questions (EMQs), examples of which are given. Similarly, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) also allow the use of clinically relevant settings such as death certification and multidisciplinary team meetings in undergraduate examinations. Pathologists should get involved in all levels of assessment, especially in question writing and quality assurance. They should also participate in OSCEs and function as external examiners to maintain the profile of pathology to undergraduates. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)453-458
    Number of pages5
    JournalDiagnostic Histopathology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


    • assessments
    • EMQ
    • MCQ
    • medical education
    • OSCE
    • pathology


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