April 15, 2021

Purdue offering new online course in bone marrow evaluation for veterinary pathologists in practice and training

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is offering a new online course in evaluating bone marrow for veterinary pathologists practicing in academia, the pharmaceutical industry and diagnostic positions, as well as clinical and anatomic pathologists in training.

The course provides a comprehensive, practical understanding of normal bone marrow and neoplastic and non-neoplastic disorders that affect bone marrow. The curriculum is designed to build a significantly better understanding of both cytologic and histologic bone marrow evaluation results in dogs and cats.

The course is for individuals who want to learn more about evaluating bone marrow, an area not always well covered in other courses and pathology programs. It offers an opportunity to spend eight weeks focused on understanding the individual steps in bone marrow evaluation to improve accuracy when making diagnoses. The experienced faculty have been teaching this material for a dozen years in on-site presentations in the U.S. and Europe, but the online course is new.

“This opens it up to a much larger audience, and it's much broader in its scope in that we are trying to build a baseline of knowledge from which they can draw when they're evaluating bone marrow samples,” said Dr. Joanne Messick, professor of veterinary clinical pathology.

Bone marrow evaluation is an area in which few pathologists have a great level of confidence, Messick said. It requires methodical skills to avoid missing things and comprehensive understanding of diseases and conditions affecting the bone marrow to make a definitive diagnosis or list rule-outs for particular lesions. Purdue’s course aims to address those issues.

“It's really to build a firm foundation so that as they move forward as pathologists, they'll feel comfortable with and confident in evaluating bone marrow samples,” said Messick, who developed and teaches the online course with two other pathologists, Dr. Andrea Santos and Dr. Melissa Swan from the Department of Comparative Pathobiology.

Those enrolling must have a veterinary degree, doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) or equivalent, and ideally will be board-certified, although board certification isn’t required.

The online course is self-paced but with weekly deadlines for submitting evaluations of sample cases and twice weekly in-person online class meetings in the evening. Students work through supporting material that builds their background of knowledge about specific diseases, as well technical aspects of doing bone marrow evaluations, with quizzes at the end of the week to self-evaluate their understanding of the material.

Each week, the participants will apply what they’re learning in the various chapters to evaluating sample cases, which are Aperio-scanned images of bone marrow cytology and histology specimens. They submit detailed reports by the following Monday that they can then compare to evaluations done by the instructors and discuss these during the synchronous class meetings during the week. The ultimate goal is to be able to directly apply what they learn.

“We want the participants to develop a walking-around knowledge,” Messick said. “The idea is to use the information gleaned in these chapters in your evaluation of cases – to be able to make a diagnosis.”

Participants who complete 70% of the cases and attend 70% of the in-person class meetings earn a certificate from Purdue.

The course is offered by the Comparative Pathobiology Department in the College of Veterinary Medicine through Purdue Online. The next session runs from June 14 to Aug. 6.

For more information on Purdue’s new online bone marrow evaluation certificate course and to register, visit the course website.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-426-8545, gkline@purdue.edu

Source: Joanne Messick, jmessic@purdue.edu

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.