Pathology Competencies for Medical Education and Educational Cases

Acad Pathol. 2017 Jul 24:4:2374289517715040. doi: 10.1177/2374289517715040. eCollection 2017 Jan-Dec.


Current medical school curricula predominantly facilitate early integration of basic science principles into clinical practice to strengthen diagnostic skills and the ability to make treatment decisions. In addition, they promote life-long learning and understanding of the principles of medical practice. The Pathology Competencies for Medical Education (PCME) were developed in response to a call to action by pathology course directors nationwide to teach medical students pathology principles necessary for the practice of medicine. The PCME are divided into three competencies: 1) Disease Mechanisms and Processes, 2) Organ System Pathology, and 3) Diagnostic Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology. Each of these competencies is broad and contains multiple learning goals with more specific learning objectives. The original competencies were designed to be a living document, meaning that they will be revised and updated periodically, and have undergone their first revision with this publication. The development of teaching cases, which have a classic case-based design, for the learning objectives is the next step in providing educational content that is peer-reviewed and readily accessible for pathology course directors, medical educators, and medical students. Application of the PCME and cases promotes a minimum standard of exposure of the undifferentiated medical student to pathophysiologic principles. The publication of the PCME and the educational cases will create a current educational resource and repository published through Academic Pathology.

Keywords: diagnostic medicine; disease mechanisms; educational cases; organ system pathology; pathology competencies; pathology objectives; therapeutic pathology.