The attitudes of medical students in Europe toward the clinical importance of histology

B.J. Moxham, E. Emmanouil-Nikoloussi, E. Brenner, O. Plaisant, H. Brichova, T. Kucera, D. Pais, I. Stabile, J. Borg, M. Scholz, F. Paulsen, J. Luis Bueno-López, L.A. Arráez-Aybar, R. De Caro, S. Arsic, B. Lignier, A. Chirculescu

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have been undertaken to assess the attitudes of medical students to the clinical importance of gross anatomy. However, much less is known about their attitudes toward the clinical importance of histology. Using Thurstone and Chave methods to assess attitudes, over 2,000 early stage medical students across Europe provided responses to a survey that tested the hypothesis that the students have a high regard for histology's clinical relevance. Regardless of the university and country surveyed, and of the teaching methods employed for histology, our findings were not consistent with our hypotheses, students providing a more moderate assessment of histology's importance compared to gross anatomy but more positive than their attitudes toward embryology. Histology should play a significant role in medical education in terms of appreciating not just normal structure and function but also pathology. We conclude that teachers of histology should pay special attention to informing newly-recruited medical students of the significant role played by histology in attaining clinical competence and in underpinning their status as being learned members of a healthcare profession. This work was conducted under the auspices of the Trans-European Pedagogic Research Group (TEPARG). Clin. Anat. 30:635–643, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-643
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • anatomy
  • histology
  • medical students
  • microscopical anatomy
  • student attitudes
  • Article
  • clinical competence
  • embryology
  • European
  • human
  • medical education
  • medical student
  • priority journal
  • student attitude


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