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Educación Médica Superior

versión On-line ISSN 1561-2902


CARPIO MUNOZ, Emilio Carpio. The teaching of microscopic anatomy without microscopes. Educ Med Super [online]. 2020, vol.34, n.2  Epub 01-Jun-2020. ISSN 1561-2902.


Traditionally, hands-on classes with optical microscopes and histological laminae have been the primary method for teaching Microscopic Anatomy to medical students. In this article, we proposed a paradigm shift.


To discuss review the foundations that support the convenience of teaching Microscopic Anatomy to medical students without optical microscopes, histological laminae, or hands-on classes in microscopy laboratories.


It is proposed to give a leading role to mobile devices, through which students can manage their learning and interact with the teaching media and with the teacher. Digital images of histological preparations representing different study methods and microscopes (optical microscopy, electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, etc.) will be essential for learning. A seminar-type teaching activity and not the traditional hands-on classes with optical microscopes and histological laminae would be the most suitable teaching form. In this way, exchange and debate would be fostered, based on digital images that will be projected on a screen in order to favor the explanation and discussion of the contents. Ten arguments are offered to support the rationality of the proposal.


The arguments in favor of teaching Histology using optical microscopes, histological laminae, and microscopy laboratory practices have been the basis for teaching its contents in every year, but the development of information and communication technologies could make them unnecessary. This paradigm shift must first undergo empirical testing and theoretical debate.

Palabras clave : medical education;; Histology;; learning.

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