Episode 179: Marissa Spencer – Improving Pathology Education: The Importance of Understanding Why

Pathologists’ Assistant Marissa Spencer returns to the podcast and we take a deep dive into the concept of teaching “why” vs teaching “how.”

Understanding the Why: Marissa emphasized the significance of not just memorizing steps but truly understanding the rationale behind each action in pathology. By grasping the “why” behind the procedures, learners can apply their knowledge effectively to different cases, ensuring thorough and accurate work.

Utilizing Specimen Photography: Marissa highlighted the underutilized value of specimen photography in pathology. Photos of normal specimens serve as invaluable reference points for learners, aiding in the recognition of abnormalities and enhancing descriptive skills. By capturing images of both normal and abnormal findings, learners can enhance their understanding and communication in the field.

Enhancing Gross Description Skills: Marissa shared practical tips for improving gross description skills, such as avoiding generic terms like “unremarkable” and instead focusing on detailed and descriptive language. By describing normal findings accurately, learners can build confidence in articulating abnormalities, ultimately leading to more precise and effective communication in pathology.


Links for this episode:

Health Podcast Network

 LabVine Learning

Dress A Med scrubs

Digital Pathology Club


PA Day

Bridging The Gap in The Pathologist

Bridging The Gap Webinar


People of Pathology Podcast:







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