Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8

Utilization of virtual microscopy in cytotechnology educational programs in the United States

1 Cytotechnology Education, College of Allied Health Professions, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA
2 Department of Cytology, Northwell Health, NY, USA
3 Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA
4 Cytotechnology Education, College of Allied Health Professions; Department of Pathology and Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

Correspondence Address:
Maheswari S Mukherjee
Cytotechnology Education, College of Allied Health Professions, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.177682

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Background: Our cytotechnology (CT) program has been utilizing virtual microscopy (VM) as an adjunct educational resource since 2011. Aims: The aim of this study was to identify the utilization of VM in other CT programs across the United States (US). Subjects and Methods: A cover letter was sent to the program directors of all accredited CT programs in the US (excluding our program), requesting their participation in an online survey. After 2 days, the participants were sent an online link to the survey. The survey results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: There were a total of 25 respondents to the survey. Among the 25, three CT programs use VM. Two of the three programs have been using VM for <2 years while another program for "2-4" years. The respondents found that VM's side-by-side comparison feature helped to demonstrate differences between diagnoses and preparation methods, and VM helped to preserve the important slides by digitizing them. Respondents believed that teaching with glass slides was very important. The reasons for not using VM were that VM is expensive and time-consuming to incorporate into the program, and lack of manpower resources to create digitized teaching files. Conclusions: The CT programs that use VM found it to be a valuable educational tool. Even though many were not using VM, responses from the survey indicated they will likely use it in the future.

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