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Trainers' perceptions of the direct observation of practical skills assessment in histopathology training: a qualitative pilot study
  1. Alison Finall1,2
  1. 1Histopathology Department, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, UK
  2. 2Histopathology Department, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alison Finall, Histopathology Department, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, UK; afinall1{at}


Aims This pilot study of the direct observation of practical skills (DOPS) assessment of histopathology trainees is needed in the absence of existing information on histopathology in the UK. The aim of the study was to explore the experiences and perceptions of trainers in using the DOPS tool with histopathology trainees.

Methods A qualitative approach was taken using paper-based questionnaires to consultants in a single teaching hospital histopathology department.

Results DOPS was perceived by all trainers as a valid form of assessment. There was a spread of opinion regarding its feasibility, with some respondents raising concern about its impact on time. 28% of respondents were doubtful about the formative nature of DOPS. All stated the assessment was fair.

Conclusions Themes that have emerged include concerns about impact on trainer time, whether DOPS is used in a formative manner and concerns about the amount of guidance provided to trainers. Further research is required to expand on these points.

  • Education
  • histopathology
  • surgical pathology

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.