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Objectives

  • To learn histology as it is a prelude and a prerequisite for the study of pathology.
  • To learn the underlying fabric of form and function for all biological processes in health and in disease.
  • To learn, develop, and hone listening and visual skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills, and construct and develop mental algorithms and tree structures-- important skills that are essential for all medical diagnoses.
  • To learn the scaffolding of cells and tissues upon which to construct the principles of other basic sciences as well as many clinical sciences.

1. Preface

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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......
  4. It is an excellent arena for honing skills in problem solving and critical thinking.
  5. 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.
  6. It is an optimal medium for developing visual skills*. As Yogi Berra has pointed out, "you can observe a lot just by watching."
  7. 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."
  8. 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."
  9. 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.*
  10. 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.

2. Readings

2.1. Required

  • 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.

2.2. Recommended

  • 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.

3. Schedule

SCHEDULE
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
Quiz #1
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
Quiz #2
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)
Review
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
Quiz #3
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
Quiz #4
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
Quiz #5
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
Quiz #6
35 - 3 hours Genital System: Female Dr. Soto Ch. 21r
36 - 3 hours Examination IV Staff

4. Course Faculty

4.1. Course Director

  • Dr. Alvar W. Gustafson, PhD, Department of Anatomy & Cellular Biology

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)