The microscopic architecture and organization of cells, tissues, and organs in relation to function is a central and fundamental component in the study of Medicine. The rationale for studying this organization is obvious, or will become so, and is based upon many factors. However, the "Top Ten Reasons for Studying Histology" are as follows.
- It is the prelude and absolute prerequisite for the study of pathology. For medicine as well as medical education it has been said that if the normal is learned so well and imprinted into the brain, then the abnormal will be automatically recognized.
- It is the underlying fabric of form and function for all biological processes in health and in disease. (We try to understand the structure and function of our body's organ systems to achieve better management of their clinical problems: Frost HM Anat Rec 262:398-419, 2001).
- It provides the scaffolding of cells and tissues upon which to construct the principles of other basic sciences as well as many clinical sciences, including biochemistry, physiology, immunology, hematology, oral pathology......
- It is an excellent arena for honing skills in problem solving and critical thinking.
- It is an ideal subject for learning to construct and develop mental algorithms and tree structures-- important skills that are essential for all medical diagnoses.
- It is an optimal medium for developing visual skills*. As Yogi Berra has pointed out, "you can observe a lot just by watching."
- It is a subject of images with great density. As a corollary to number 6, these images can provide the observant viewer with a wealth of information*. Indeed, "a picture IS worth a thousand words."
- It can also be helpful for sharpening one's listening skills. Despite any shortcomings its lecturers may exhibit, histology can be likened to the "note" (pun intended) on Wagner's music in Mark Twain's Autobiography (1924): "[it's much] better than it sounds."
- It has often been said - perhaps since an early enunciation by the Roman philosopher and statesman Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 3-5BC-65AD) - that "all art is but imitation of life". Much later, Oscar Wilde offered the following: "All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" (Intentions, 1891). Indeed, it is our contentions that Life IS Art. In this regard, please consider histology as a survey of some of the greatest architectural and artistic masterpieces of the living form.*
- And finally, to paraphrase the distinguished Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana (1863- 1952): Those who cannot remember histology are condemned to repeat it (The Life of Reason, Vol 1, 1905).
*In 2001, a former medical student, an art curator, and a dermatology professor from Yale University School of Medicine published a Letter to the Editor in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which indicated that students' observational skills could be improved by at least 10% when they participated in a course that examined and analyzed preselected works of art (Dolev JC, Friedlaender LK, Braverman IM. Use of fine art to enhance visual diagnostic skills. JAMA 256:1020, 2001).
The authors' contentions were as follows: "Observational skills that define the astute clinician are usually only acquired after years of clinical experience. Recognizing both the subtle and obvious visual details is a critical aspect of visual diagnosis or "seeing." Nonetheless, the formal teaching of observational skills is rarely included in the medical curriculum." During the two-year study, 81 medical students received visual training and 65 students served as a control group that received no specific visual training. An important point made by the authors is that one CAN be trained to be a better observer.
- Ross et al. (2005) Histology. A Text and Atlas. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
- Avery (2002) Oral Development and Histology. Thieme, New York. OR
- Berkovitz et al. (2002) Oral Anatomy, Histology & Embryology. Mosby, Edinburgh.
- Stedman's (2000) Medical Dictionary. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia. OR
- Dorland's (2003) Medical Dictionary. Saunders, Philadelphia.
- Avery (2000) Essentials of Oral Histology & Embryology. Mosby, St. Louis.
- Gartner & Hiatt (2000) Color Atlas of Histology (w/CD-ROM). LWW, Philadelphia.
- Kerr (1999) Atlas of Functional Histology. Mosby, London.
- Young & Heath (2000) Wheater's Functional Histology (w/CD-ROM). Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.
|Session - Hours||Lecture/Lab Topic||Lecturer||Readings (r=Ross a=Avery b=Berkovitz)|
|Cells & Tissues|
|1 - 4 hours||Cells, Tissues & Organs: Methods of Study: Histochemistry; Cells & Organelles||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 1r, 2r|
|2 - 3 hours||Epithelium & Glands||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 3r, 4r|
|3 - 4 hours||Epithelial Specializations||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 3r, 4r|
|4 - 4 hours||Blood||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 9r|
|5 - 3 hours||Connective Tissue Proper||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 5r, 6r|
|6 - 4 hours||Cartilage & Bone||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 7r, 8r|
|7 - 3 hours||Osteogenesis||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 8r|
|8 - 4 hours||Muscle||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 10r|
|9 - 4 hours||Nervous Tissue||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 11r|
|Organs & Systems|
|10 - 3 hours||Organology||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 10 (HistoNotes)|
|11 - 4 hours||Examination 1||Staff|
|12 - 4 hours||Integument||Dr. Marchant||Ch. 14r|
|13 - 3 hours||Cardiovascular System||Dr. Sonnenschein||Ch. 12r|
|14 - 4 hours||Alimentary System: Oral Cavity Overview; Oral Mucosa||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 14ab, 15a|
|15 - 4 hours||Alimentary System: Oral Cavity Salivary Glands||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 17a, 16b|
|16 - 3 hours||Alimentary System: Oral Cavity Odontogenesis||Dr. Marchant||Ch. 5a, 6a, 21ffb|
|17 - 4 hours||Alimentary System: Oral Cavity Eruption & Shedding||Dr. Nurminsky||Ch. 7a, 26b|
|18 - 4 hours||Alimentary System: Oral Cavity Enamel||Dr. Marchant||Ch. 9a, 7b|
|19 - 3 hours||Alimentary System: Oral Cavity Dentin/Pulp||Dr. Giunta||Ch. 10a, 11a, 9b, 10b|
|20 - 2 hours||Alimentary System: Oral Cavity Cementun/Periodontium||Dr. Giunta||Ch. 13a, 15a, 11b, 12b|
|20 - 2 hours||Temporomandibular Joint||Dr. Mehta||20a, 15b|
|21 - 3 hours||Review||TBA|
|22 - 4 hours||Examination II||Staff|
|23 - 3 hours||Lymphoid (Immune) System I||Dr. Marchant||Ch. 13r|
|24 - 4 hours||Lymphoid (Immune) System II||Dr. Marchant||Ch. 13r|
|25 - 4 hours||Alimentary System: Esophagus & Stomach||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 16r|
|26 - 3 hours||Alimentary System: Intestines||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 16r|
|27 - 4 hours||Alimentary System: Liver, GB & Pancreas||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 17r|
|28 - 4 hours||Respiratory System||Dr. Marchant||Ch. 18r|
|29 - 3 hours||Urinary System||Dr. Nurminsky||Ch. 19r|
|30 - 4 hours||Review||Dr. Gustafson|
|31 - 4 hours||Examination III||Staff|
|32 - 3 hours||Endocrine Glands I||Dr. Soto||Ch. 20r|
|33 - 4 hours||Endocrine Glands II||Dr. Soto||Ch. 20r|
|34 - 4 hours||Genital System: Male||Dr. Gustafson||Ch. 22r|
|35 - 3 hours||Genital System: Female||Dr. Soto||Ch. 21r|
|36 - 3 hours||Examination IV||Staff|
4. Course Faculty
4.2. Teaching Faculty: Instructors & Lecturers
- Dr. John Giunta, DMD, Department of Oral Pathology; emeritus
- Dr. Jeff Marchant, PhD, Department of Anatomy & Cellular Biology
- Dr. Noshir Mehta, DMD, Department of General Dentistry
- Dr. Maria Nourminskaia, PhD, Department of Anatomy & Cellular Biology
- Dr. Dmitry Nurminsky, PhD, Department of Anatomy & Cellular Biology
- Dr. Carlos Sonnenschein, MD, Department of Anatomy & Cellular Biology
- Dr. Ana Soto, MD, Department of Anatomy & Cellular Biology
- Dr. Frank R. Susi, DMD, PhD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, emeritus
5. Examinations and Quizzes
5.1. Coverage and Weight of Examinations
- Examination I: Methods/Histochemistry - Nervous Tissue (50 pts)
- Examination II: Organology - TMJ (55 pts)
- Examination III: Immune System - Urinary System (35 pts)
- Examination IV: Endocrine Glands - Genital Systems (30 pts)
5.2. Coverage and Weight of Quizzes
- Quiz #1: Methods of Study/Histochemistry - Epithelium & Glands (6 pts)
- Quiz #2: Epithelial Specializations - Cartilage & Bone (6 pts)
- Quiz #3: Integument - Oral Mucosa (6 pts)
- Quiz #4: Salivary Glands - Dentin/Pulp (6 pts)
- Quiz #5: Lymphoid (Immune) System - Intestines (6 pts)
- Quiz #6: Endocrine Glands (6 pts)