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Implementation of digital pathology into diagnostic practice: perceptions and opinions of histopathology trainees and implications for training
  1. Lisa Browning1,
  2. Richard Colling1,2,
  3. Jens Rittscher2,3,
  4. Lucinda Winter1,
  5. Nicholas McEntyre1,
  6. Clare Verrill1,2
  1. 1 Department of Cellular Pathology, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  3. 3 Big Data Institute, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lisa Browning, Department of Cellular Pathology, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; lisa.browning{at}


There is increasing interest in the utility of digital pathology in the diagnostic setting. Successful transition requires guidance and training, but additionally an understanding of opinions and attitudes of histopathologists to ensure that potential barriers are addressed. Histopathology trainees as a group are likely to be at the forefront of this revolution, and have specific and as yet largely neglected training needs in this context. We designed an online survey for trainees within our region to capture their opinions and attitudes to digital pathology in the diagnostic setting, and to assess their perceived training needs. This survey indicates overall that these trainees have similar aspirations with regard to the predicted utility of digital pathology and the challenges faced as have been recognised among consultant histopathologists. While their training needs are also largely similar, there are specific additional considerations based around training in multiple centres with varying exposure to digital pathology.

  • digital pathology
  • training
  • histopathology trainees

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  • Handling editor Dhirendra Govender.

  • Contributors LB confirmed that all authors contributed to this manuscript. Conceptualisation: LB. Acquisition of data: LB, LW and NM. Analysis and interpretation of data: LB. Drafting of the manuscript: LB. Critical revision of the manuscript: LB, RC, JR, LW, NM and CV. Supervision: CV.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

  • Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service (NHS), the NIHR or the Department of Health. CV, RC, LB and JR are part of the PathLAKE digital pathology consortium (JR and CV are PIs). These new Centres are supported by a £50m investment from the Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine strand of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, managed and delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

  • Competing interests We declare no conflicts of interest

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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