Local medical teaching site a global hit

A free online resource on pathology developed by Associate Professor Nga Min En from National University of Singapore, has become popular with students worldwide. Pathweb is a combination of a virtual pathology museum that holds digitised, annotated specimens of diseased organs, and a teaching blog-site with videos as well as mind maps for students’ self- study.

Existing pathology websites are mostly composed of annotated pictures and do not feature digitised specimens. Since its launch in August 2017, Pathweb has received more than 32,000 visitors and 296,000 views. To date, about 250 specimens have been digitised and annotated, and another 800 are in the works.

In the past, NUS medical students used to rely on physical specimens that were passed around in class. During examination periods, students are allowed to borrow the specimens for self-study, but are not allowed to take them out of the classroom. Thus, Professor Nga decided to develop Pathweb to help students study and learn better, drawing upon her own experiences as a medical student to develop Pathweb. She shared that Pathweb was meant to go beyond NUS and that she is happy to share it for free in the spirit of teaching.

Kudos to Professor Nga for her generosity and innovation. I think she is really making a difference to the global fraternity of medicine. Hopefully, there will be others like Professor Nga who remember what it was like to be a student and make an effort to improve the situation for the generations of students that come after them.

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