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Core curriculum in pathology for future Irish medical students

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-02, 14:45 authored by Hilary HumphreysHilary Humphreys, Niall StevensNiall Stevens, Louise Burke, Mariam Sheehan, Siobhan GlaveySiobhan Glavey, Mary KeoganMary Keogan, Erum Rasheed, Faculty of Pathology, the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland
Pathology is important in training to become a medical doctor but as curricula become more integrated, there is a risk that key aspects of pathology may be excluded. Following a survey of the current delivery of teaching in Ireland under the auspices of the Faculty of Pathology at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, suggested components of a core curriculum in pathology have been developed to be delivered at some stage during the medical course. These have been based on key principles and themes required by the Medical Council in Ireland. Professionalism is one of the core principles emphasised by the Medical Council. It includes the role of the pathologist in patient care and other professional values such as patient-centred care, clinical competencies and skills, e.g. explaining results, and knowledge under the various sub-disciplines, i.e. histopathology (including neuropathology), clinical microbiology, haematology, chemical pathology and immunology. In each of these, we suggest key aspects and activities that the medical graduate should be comfortable in carrying out. The methods of delivery of teaching and assessment across pathology disciplines have evolved and adapted to recent circumstances. Lessons have been learned and insights gained during the COVID-19 pandemic as educators have risen to the challenge of continuing to educate medical students. Integrated and multi-disciplinary teaching is recommended to reflect best the professional environment of the medical graduate who works as an integral part of a multi-disciplinary team, with the minimum dependence on the traditional lecture, where at all possible. Finally, options on assessment are discussed, e.g. multiple-choice questions, including their respective advantages and disadvantages.


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The original article is available at

Published Citation

Humphreys H, et al. Core curriculum in pathology for future Irish medical students. Ir J Med Sci. 2021:1–9

Publication Date

23 September 2021

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Pathology


Springer Nature


  • Published Version (Version of Record)