Virtual Pathology Education in Pandemic Times: Challenges, Solutions and Future Implications

Document Type : Commentary


1 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran

2 Post-Doctoral Researcher, Medical Education Department, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


In view of the highly contagious nature of SARS-CoV-2, slide reviews with multi-headed microscopes can no longer be a safe approach in pathology instruction. The outbreak has disrupted the routines of pathology education and interactive didactic conferences. The emerging challenge here is to develop practical laboratory sessions in virtual environments. This has given rise to multiple other challenges in the development of virtual pathology education, some of which are highlighted in this commentary. The main difficulties center around the integration of virtual learning technologies into a pathology curriculum and incorporation of digital pathology infrastructure into an educational platform. Maintaining the competency standards in virtual pathology education (VPE) during a pandemic may prove to be another significant challenge. The quality of virtual learning depends on several factors including infrastructure provisions, deployment of modern equipment, faculty knowledge and learner engagement. In response to the educational challenges in pandemic times, VPE has utilized some invaluable digital platforms that provide access to various virtual pathology cases and slide reviews. This commentary examined the impact of COVID-19 on pathology education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It also explored the potential solutions to overcome the present challenges and future implications for virtual pathology education and practice.


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