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Journal of Biomedical Education
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 165691, 3 pages
Research Article

Are We Learning Enough Pathology in Medical School to Prepare Us for Postgraduate Training and Examinations?

1Department of Urology, Derriford Hospital, Derriford Road, Crownhill, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8DH, UK
2Department of Surgery, Ziv Hospital, Safed, 13000 Galilee, Israel

Received 16 December 2012; Accepted 23 January 2013

Academic Editor: Femi Oyebode

Copyright © 2013 Emma Marsdin and Seema Biswas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Medical schools responded to the first publication of Tomorrow’s Doctors with an abbreviated syllabus and a reduction in didactic teaching hours. Prescribing errors, however, have increased, and there is a perception amongst clinicians that junior doctors know less about the pathological basis of disease. We asked junior doctors how useful they thought their undergraduate teaching in pathology had been in their postgraduate training. We had 70 questionnaire responses from junior doctors within a single deanery and found that although almost every doctor, (96%), thought that pathology formed a major component of their postgraduate exams, most, (67%), thought that their undergraduate teaching left them unprepared for their postgraduate careers, and they had to learn basic principles, as they revised for postgraduate exams. Few used a pathology text for learning, most doctors, (91%), relying on question and answer revision resources for exam preparation. Perhaps, as revision materials are used so widely, they might be adapted for long-term deep learning, alongside clinical work. This presents an opportunity for pathologists, deaneries, royal colleges, and publishing houses to work together in the preparation of quality written and online material readily accessible to junior doctors in their workplace.