Integrative approach for Teaching Histology and Histopathology of the Gastrointestinal tract Using an IBD Case

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Integration has progressed beyond the basic concept of horizontal and vertical integration. We now emphasize student-directed learning, active learning, development of interpersonal skills, problem solving, and self-reflection. Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) serves as an excellent model for how we accomplish integration of histology with other disciplines, resulting in one course that is organ-system based, thus increasing the connection to clinical medicine. It has two major constituents: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. It can involve any segment of the GI tract, as well as other systems that share clinical and pathological characteristics.

We use clinical scenarios of IBD cases in order to make histology more clinically relevant. Students address comprehensively the anatomy, histology, histopathology, and pathophysiology in a manner that provides a thorough understanding of the disease. Then they are able to establish a final diagnosis. This approach is facilitated by making available to the students a wide variety of resources.

This student-directed strategy requires a major shift in the way educators think about medical school teaching. It is a successful integration approach whereby students themselves take initiative and responsibility for determining what is worthwhile to learn. In addition to horizontal integration and vertical integration, it offers several intangible benefits. Chief among those benefits is building a community of students with high level of skills and professionalism.





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