Pathology training resources remain scarce in many parts of the world. With rapid economic development comes the need to educate new pathologists to meet the medical care demands. Our aim was to set up a cost-effective system for training and testing the diagnostic skills of pathologists. Pathologists in nine countries in Asia and South America were invited by the International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) to participate in a prostate pathology education course combining image-based tests with lectures and on-line tutorials. The tests and tutorials are available free of charge at the ISUP education website www.edu.isupweb.org . A total of 603 pathologists registered on the website. Of these, 224 completed pre- and post-lecture assessments (tests 1 and 2). Replies were classified as correct/acceptable, when a lesion was accurately classified into clinically relevant categories (benign, cancer, high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, intraductal carcinoma of the prostate). The rate of correct/acceptable replies increased from 60.7 to 72.3% in Tests 1 and 2, respectively. In Test 1, pathologists from upper middle, lower middle, and low resource countries gave a correct/acceptable diagnosis in 65.8%, 61.0%, and 47.4%, respectively. Their results improved in Test 2 to 76.4%, 72.5%, and 62.8%, respectively. The greatest improvement in diagnostic ability was achieved in pathologists from the low resource group of countries. The use of web-based testing and training, combined with lectures, is an efficient method for improving diagnostic skills of pathologists in low to middle resource countries.
Keywords: Bladder; Database; Diagnosis; Grading; Kidney; Pathology; Prostate; Standardization.