Integration of pathology teaching : students and faculty perceptions
Reports on undergraduate medical education in the recent decade clearly point towards a need for greater integration of content in the medical curriculum. The pedagogy of an integrated curriculum embraces many models of integration, representing a continuum where full integration sits at one end and discipline–based teaching at the other, with many intermediate steps between the two extremes. A vertically integrated curriculum seeks to bridge the preclinical and clinical divide in content by teaching the content concurrently rather than sequentially, but still retaining discipline boundaries. A horizontally integrated curriculum seeks to further break down the distinctions between the basic and clinical sciences, with the early years of the program focusing on the basic sciences and introducing clinical features into the program wherever possible as part of a gradual shift to a more continued collaborative clinical focus. At the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, the overall redesigned curricular program will be phased in over the next four years of the curriculum, with a greater emphasis towards an integrated approach of the teaching and learning of human disease. In the first year, this has led to the creation of a patchwork quilt teaching style, where a cross disciplinary functional system incorporates elements of the traditional basic science components of anatomy, physiology, embryology, and histology, and an introduction of core general pathological concepts in a vertical and horizontal integrated fashion. The main objective of this research, detailed in Chapter 1, was to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of the two models of horizontal and vertical integration of the reorganized structural teaching of pathology through an analysis of the perceptions of medical educators and first- and second-year students in the undergraduate curriculum at the College of Medicine, and based contextually within a theoretical framework of the newly designed medical curriculum. In this context, the literature review in Chapter 2 focused on four major areas that are the underpinnings of the pedagogy of pathology teaching in the undergraduate medical curriculum: (a) integration concepts in relation to medical education; (b) the practice of pathology teaching in the past, present, and future; (c) theories of curricular integration; and (d) its effects on the student learning environment. This resulted in the development of the pre-research conceptual framework for this study. The in-service monitoring research design for this study included a triangulation of research methodologies using multiple data sources, multiple subjects, and multiple data collection techniques using comparative qualitative and quantitative research inquiry techniques. Data collected from the semi-structured interviews of the medical faculty provided not only an understanding of the educators’ perceptions towards the integrated curriculum, but also some insight towards their feelings of respect, power, and identity in this new integrative environment. Personal perceptions of fear, apathy, and stress and perceptions regarding accountability and sustainability of this integrative process were also observed as arising from this educational intervention. Quantitative data analysis collected from the first-year student survey questionnaires derived the following grand mean responses with respect to the vertical integration of pathology teachings: student learning satisfaction with integration (3.6); the learning environment (3.8); student engagement (3.3); and student stress (2.9). The grand mean responses to horizontal integration showed a similar trend: student learning satisfaction (3.7); learning environment (4); student engagement (3.5); and student stress (3). Perceptions of the second-year medical students to horizontal integration of pathology teachings were comparable: student learning satisfaction (3.7); learning environment (4.2); student engagement (3.7); and student stress (3.1). A comparison of first- and second-year medical students showed a significant difference (p
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
SupervisorWalker, Keith D.; D'Eon, Marcel
CommitteeNoonan, Warren; Morrison, Dirk; Kalyn, Brenda
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