Educational Innovation

educational innovation

Educational scholars in the Department of Biomedical Sciences are at the forefront of active learning and educational assessment, developing innovative methods for the education of medical students. Mission-oriented curricular development is a high priority and is tailored to training rural family practice physicians and a diverse health professional workforce for Minnesota.

Dr. Carl McGary's Work

Carl McGary

Carl McGary, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology in Biomedical Sciences, believes pathology is foundational in medicine. He believes pathophysiology and gross pathology findings assist in narrowing clinical differential diagnoses and basic knowledge of histopathology and pathology terminology fosters productive clinician-pathologist discussions. Dr. McGary strives to provide this base for our medical students and believes diverse approaches assist with learning pathology. To diversify his approach to teaching, Dr. McGary embraces some traditional lecture, provides pathology for Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Group Directed Learning (GDL) cases, and uses virtual whole slides for students to assess, research, and interpret as the case unfolds. The University of Minnesota Medical School has an embedded viewer for digital whole slides within the Elevator Application which has enabled the use of de-identified virtual slide images for the creation of a pathology/histology virtual slide box. 

histology pic

Dr. McGary uses virtual slide cases in all educational sessions he leads. He uses the virtual slides in lectures, poll questions, Peer Instruction techniques, and in PBL and GDL cases throughout the curriculum. The slide box contains gross pathology to correlate with microscopic findings. Cases include video links such as endoscopy to correlate with classic histology (Eosinophilic esophagitis), and a musical rendition to help learn pathology is also included (Oligodendroglioma). A 2019 summer research medical student, Paige Carlson, built the renal tumor section, leading to a peer-reviewed and published paper (Carlson, P., & McGary, C. T. (2020). Educational Case: Renal Cell and Urothelial Carcinoma. Academic Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1177/2374289520956363. Dr. McGary's goal is to decrease passive lecture and increase active learning. He achieves this by including main lecture concepts as teaching points in the virtual cases, including virtual cases as part of student's independent pre-work and hosting active sessions that are in the Peer Instruction format. The virtual slide cases are incorporated in Canvas modules for asynchronous learning with self-assessment quizzes. Dr. McGary’s innovative teaching methods have earned him the 2020 Educational Innovation Award for First and Second Year Medical Students from the University of Minnesota.

Explore the slide box here: Duluth Pathology Slide Box