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Learning in the working place: the educational potential of a multihead microscope in pathology postgraduate training.
Training future pathologists is an important mission of many hospital anatomic pathology departments. Apprenticeship-a process in which learning and teaching tightly intertwine with daily work, is one of the main educational methods in use in postgraduate medical training. However, patient care, including pathological diagnosis, often comes first, diagnostic priorities prevailing over educational ones. Recognition of the unique educational opportunities is a prerequisite for enhancing the postgraduate learning experience. The aim of this paper is to draw attention of senior pathologists with a role as supervisor in postgraduate training on the potential educational value of a multihead microscope, a common setting in pathology departments. After reporting on an informal observation of senior and junior pathologists' meetings around the multihead microscope in our department, we review the literature on current theories of learning to provide support to the high potential educational value of these meetings for postgraduate training in pathology. We also draw from the literature on learner-centered teaching some recommendations to better support learning in this particular context. Finally, we propose clues for further studies and effective instruction during meetings around a multihead microscope.
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