“Enhancing Pathology’s Visibility”

2020 Poster Abstracts

Pre-Conference Workshops
Thursday, January 23, 2020

Teaching in the Internet Age: Optimizing Educational Techniques in the World of the Smartphone
Geoffrey Talmon

The Internet Age has changed the landscape of education. While innovations such as eLearning, YouTube videos, and other online resources are visible, the use of “tried and true” teaching methods that are well-known to educators likely need new approaches. As an example, traditional lectures, often have a singular focus—information delivery. Increased access to factual information via the Internet using devices that are almost always readily available has made simple exposure to information a less important activity. Even student-centered, interactive activities such as problem-based learning may be more effective if different approaches than have been used in the past when students have access to the sum of medical knowledge and search engines. This session will address technique to optimize teaching in today’s information-rich environment.

Using Social Media to Promote Pathology
Maren Fuller

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are great tools to connect with others and share information. These tools can be employed to promote pathology via interacting with other pathologists, educators, medical professionals, medical students, and even the general public. It’s also an excellent way to expand the reach of pathology beyond one’s own department and institution. 

The goals of the workshop are to learn the basics of using social media: setting up an account, composing posts, and consideration of “best practices” including HIPPA and privacy concerns. The workshop will also include a hands-on component for all levels: from the basics of setting up an account and posting to using hashtags and an introduction to analytics.

Plenary Session
Friday, January 24, 2020

The Relevance of Pathology for Global Policy: The Case of Environmental Pathology
Paulo Saldiva

This session will address one of several forms to make pathology visible for different stakeholders inside and outside the academic area. We will demonstrate the relevance of pathology and pathological knowledge for better understanding problems that affect full populations, particularly those within megacities, and how this knowledge can be translated into public policies to improve the quality of life of human beings and the challenges to make it happen.  

The real life model discussed in this plenary session will be related to environmental pathology and air pollution: starting from the basic scientific knowledge of its effects on respiratory diseases and reproduction (from experimental models), passing through clinical studies and translating to the society through government (public policies), organized society groups (NGOs, Civil groups, etc), business (public and private companies). A key demonstration that pathology must be recognized and viewed as a cornerstone not just for individual diagnosis, but also for relevant social and global issues.

Friday, January 24, 2020

The UCSF Approach to High-Stakes Assessment: Open-Ended Questions
Marta Margeta

The visibility of Pathology within educational settings is driven partially by the presence of Pathology topics on examinations.  The UCSF Bridges curriculum relies solely on case-based open-ended questions (OEQs) rather than multiple-choice questions (MCQs) for high-stakes written examinations in the pre-clerkship Foundational Science courses.  In this interactive workshop, we will share the motivation for this approach and initial outcomes (clerkship experience, USMLE Step 1), practice drafting and editing OEQ stems with the audience, practice evaluation of sample student answers, demonstrate how results are communicated to students, and discuss our approaches to exam remediation. 


  • Practice classifying educational learning objectives according to Bloom’s taxonomy.
  • Draft and edit a sample OEQ stem.
  • Design an assessment rubric that enables the grader to judge the quality of knowledge and application of that knowledge demonstrated in a student answer.
  • Categorize sample student answers according to a 3-tier assessment model (Meets Expectations, Borderline, Doesn’t Meet Expectations).
  • Share best practices related to novel assessment strategies.
  • Outline approaches to remediation in the UCSF Bridges curriculum.

Promoting Pathology: Utilizing Social Media Platforms for Increasing Public Outreach and Pathology Visibility
Luis Blanco Jr, David Escobar, and Maryam Pezhouh

This session will review the numerous approaches to utilize social media to promote pathology in a variety of public formats with opportunity to reach patients, students, pathology trainees and colleagues, and the general public. Professional use of social media among pathologists, including the acquisition and sharing of digital images of pathology specimens, serves to increase the availability of educational material among pathology colleagues, improve patient care, and increase the visibility of the pathology profession. Individual pathologists and institutional departments of pathology worldwide already use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook (San Francisco, California), YouTube (parent company Google, Mountain View, California), and Instagram (parent company Facebook) for educational and networking purposes. The ethical and legal considerations of posting pathology-related information on social media while maintaining HIPAA standards and protecting patient privacy have been recently discussed in the pathology literature. 

Social media accounts for the Department of Pathology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) were established in January 2018 on Twitter (@NU_Pathology) and Facebook (Northwestern Pathology) and March 2018 on Instagram (@northwesternpathology). An ongoing series of pathology cases across multiple sub-specialties are selected from archives or teaching sets and presented in “Case of the Month” format. On Day 1, digital images of the glass slides are shared with a brief, deidentified clinical history while inviting discussion from followers of the accounts. On Day 2, additional images, pertinent immunohistochemical stains, the final diagnosis and key educational points are shared. Additional posts serve to announce faculty and resident literature publications, participation in local and national meetings, poster presentations, and other departmental activities, including social events. 

Of the social media outreach undertaken thus far, the Twitter metrics alone are striking. Since inception, the Department of Pathology at NMH has shared 548 “tweets.” Of these, the most popular are the educational Case Of The Month tweets, which are viewed on average 10,517 times (range 5,889 to 22,849) with 924 “active engagements” per post (range 344-1,843), defined by actions such as liking the post, replying to the post, clicking links, and viewing or following the account profile. During this time, the number of followers of the account increased to 1341, averaging 71 new followers each month. 

This workshop will present an approach to utilizing social media for pathology outreach at the individual or institutional level. The current ethical and legal landscape for disseminating pathology-related content on social media platforms while maintaining professional standards and HIPAA requirements will be reviewed and discussed. Demonstrations of different platforms and tools for managing multiple social media accounts will be presented. During the session, a real-time interactive space within the social media platforms will be utilized for illustration of the power of social media tools. 

As a result of this session, learners will be able to:

  • Describe social media platforms available for sharing pathology-related information.
  • Practice creating posts in various social media formats and interacting on social media in real-time with other workshop participants.
  • Discuss a framework for the ethical and legal dissemination of pathology-related images and material.

Plenary Session
Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pre-clinical Medical Education: Rethinking the Paradigm
Husain Sattar

This session reviews some of the driving forces that led to the current paradigm for pre-clinical medicinal eduction and then discusses opportunities to advance this paradigm in the modern era.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Interactive Case based pathology learning utilizing whole slide images enhances pathology visibility for undergraduate medical education
Carl McGary

These are: Foundations of Medicine, Skin/Musculoskeletal Medicine, Neurological Medicine, Immunology-HematologyOncology, Cardiovascular-Respiratory-Renal-Acid-Base I and II, Gastrointestinal System, and Hormonal and Reproductive Medicine.  Over the last ~10 years pathology content has been in a traditional didactic lecture format without a gross or microscopic lab component. The only histopathology visual content for the undergraduate medical students(UGMS) was still digital images presented in lecture slides. One draw-back of still images is  limitations in examining distribution and extent of disease at a range of magnifications that can be more easily appreciated in larger sections.  In addition to learning about extent and distribution of disease, we feel exploration of virtual slides assists understanding the morphologic variation present for a given diagnosis.  Whole slide imaging and virtual microscopy (VM) were introduced to the UGMS in 2019 to integrate active pathology education into the problem based learning (PBL) component in Neurological Medicine.  We are currently exploring VM in other courses and formats.  The U of MN application for storing and managing large digital educational files is “Elevator” which runs on top of the Amazon Web Services ecosystem for servers, storage, and database. The platform we use for viewing whole slide images was also designed at the U of MN and is built on top of an open source project called “Leaflet”, which is similar to Google Maps.  Rather than feeding it map tiles, we break images into thousands of small pieces for different zoom levels, and load those.  All of the software is open source.  “Elevator” is at https://github.com/UMN-LATIS/elevator and the specific slide annotation tool is on GitHub at https://github.com/UMN-LATIS/leaflet-annotation.   The VM viewer is embedded thus students are not required to download software to their personal devices to read the clinical case and explore the virtual slide. We utilized the virtual slide format in traditional didactic lectures, and in active learning sessions such as peer instruction and PBL and these will be demonstrated in the workshop.  The cases selected represent common entities for UGMS based on recently published national standards and learning objectives, are in a clinical history format supporting case based interactive pathology education.  The cases include links to normal histology slides for direct comparison, as well as links to educational cases published in Academic Pathology, when available.  Student feed-back is consistent with increased pathology visibility and includes comments such as “I never thought I would like pathology but you made it clear and interesting”, & “Going in I did not enjoy pathology, but I was pleasantly surprised that I not only understood what was being taught but also enjoyed it”.  In this workshop we will demonstrate features of this system, how it has been utilized on our campus, and how it has improved our students experience in pathology.

Educator and Students’ Perspective for the Pathology Basic Science Course
Shelbey Bauman, Andrew Bernhisel, Luiz Ferraz da Silva, Ellen Dudrey, Morgan Gallo, Ashlee Malone, Osvaldo Padilla, Alyse Ragauskas, Athy Sienna, Giovana da Costa Sigrist

Technology and availability of medical information have created multiple challenges in the realm of medical education. How best to use this technology and availability of information to meet the goal of teaching and learning pathology is not clear. Different opinions may exist different between medical educators and students. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the technological and informational resources that are available in the viewpoint of both students and medical educators, and try to come to a consensus on how to best meet the goals of both educators and students in the basic pathology course. This workshop will consist of case scenarios and short presentations by both medical educators and students in order to generate discussion of the differences and similarities between both parties to come to a general understanding. The goal of this workshop is to help generate ideas for both medical students and educators on how best to approach their pathology basic science course.


  • Recognize and describe different perspectives with respect to technology and the availability of information that may exist between medical educators and students.
  • Analyze and describe what medical educators and students can do to bring the medical educators and students’ utilization of technology and information to meet the goal of the basic science course.
  • Formulate possible ideas to how best utilize technology and information to best meet both the goals of medical educators and students.

Click here to download the program book