Teaching Laboratory Stewardship in the Medical Student Core Clerkships Pathology-Teaches

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2020 Jul 1;144(7):883-887. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2019-0329-OA.


Context.—: Current health care spending is unsustainable, and there is a need to teach high-value care principles to future physicians. Pathology-Teaches is an educational intervention designed to teach laboratory stewardship early in clinical training, at the level of the medical student in their core clinical clerkships.

Objective.—: To assess the pilot implementation of case-based educational modules in 5 required core clerkships at our institution.

Design.—: The online cases were developed by using a multidisciplinary approach. In the Pathology-Teaches educational module, students make decisions regarding the ordering or interpretation of laboratory testing within the context of a clinical scenario and receive immediate feedback during the case. The intervention was assessed by using pretest and posttest. Student feedback was also collected from end-of-rotation evaluations.

Results.—: A total of 203 students completed the Pathology-Teaches pilot, including 72 in Family Medicine, 72 in Emergency Medicine, 24 in Internal Medicine, 24 in Neurology, and 11 in Obstetrics-Gynecology (OB-GYN). Pathology-Teaches utility was demonstrated by significantly increased improvement between pretest and posttest scores (mean, 63.1% versus 83.5%; P < .001; Hedge g effect size = 0.93). Of the 494 students who completed the Pathology-Teaches questions on the end-of-rotation evaluation, 251 provided specific feedback, with 38.6% (97 of 251) rating the activity as "extremely valuable" or "very valuable," and 41.4% (104 of 251) as "some/moderate value." Qualitative feedback included 17 positive comments with 6 requests to scale up or include more cases, 16 constructive comments for improvement mainly regarding the technical aspects, and 5 negative comments.

Conclusions.—: Pathology-Teaches effectively teaches stewardship concepts, and most students perceived value in this educational intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship*
  • Clinical Laboratory Services / economics
  • Cost Savings
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Formative Feedback
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Pathology / economics
  • Pathology / education*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Students, Medical*