Identification of specific disease processes is essential for the diagnosis, treatment and prognostication of health issues in patients of any species. Disease processes can lead to functional and/or morphological changes in tissues and cells of the body. Some of these changes can be readily identified by physical examination or by using clinical imaging modalities (radiographs, MRI, CT). However, in many instances microscopic examination of affected organs is required and comes in two primary flavors. 1. Cytology is minimally invasive and examines individual cells taken from tissues and fluids. 2. Histology is more invasive but allows examination of tissues (i.e., cells in context). In general, disease processes lead to very specific and distinct morphological changes. Thus, cytological and histological examination of diseases organs can add tremendous value to the clinical work-up.
The Basic and Advanced Histopathology Electives provide students in the third year (VMB768) or fourth year (VMB786) of the veterinary curriculum with the opportunity to connect basic veterinary sciences such as anatomy and histology with the study of diseases (pathology, microbiology) and clinical practice (medicine, dermatology, oncology). The courses are unique due to their interdisciplinary and interactive approach, practice-relevant content and use of simulations. Actual cases sourced from submissions to Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory are used to illustrate the logical progression in the work-up of a clinical case: from the patient history and clinical presentation through sample collection and submission to the diagnosis based on diagnostic tests (cytology and histopathology) and communication of results (case report). More specifically, the courses provide students with an opportunity to
- explore the utility and limitations of two common diagnostic approaches (cytology and histopathology) used in companion animal practice and
- develop an understanding of best practices in the diagnostic work-up of common disease conditions in a simulated environment. Enrollment is currently limited to 10 students per session. In the hybrid format, enrollment will be limited to 25 students per session.
Enrollment is currently limited to 10 students per session. In the hybrid format, enrollment will be limited to 25 students per session.
Students use out-of-class time to
- review and critically appraise case materials (patient histories, sample submission sheets, virtual cytology and histology slides)
- practice descriptive skills, and synthesize case data to formulate diagnoses
- identify likely differential diagnoses
- devise treatment plans, and
- articulate prognostications.
In addition, students research the primary disease conditions and writes a brief synopsis.
On-site/in-class group discussions use a multiheaded microscope and overhead projection system to permit in-time visual cues and illustrations. The group discussions center on the case materials and the case work-ups generated by the students online with the goal to
- integrate independent online work,
- practice communication skills,
- clarify uncertainties,
- further explore the diagnostic process.
Students are assesses on quality of their case write-ups, participation in the discussion and demonstration of skills (microscopy).