Pathology represents a major foundation of medical science and practice. It encompasses all aspects of disease, including knowledge of the causes and effects of disease, and the organisms' response to disease. Knowledge of how an organism responds to disease is important as sometimes disease arises as a result of an innate response of the organism to injury or infection.
The overall aim of the undergraduate pathology curriculum is to explore the underlying general principles of pathology and microbiology and to illustrate those using specific cases. This effort encompasses a broad range of biological disciplines, including cell biology, molecular biology and genetics. The lectures are closely integrated with practical sessions.
The Department of Pathology and Microbiology provides teaching in all five years of the undergraduate curriculum. The bulk of undergraduate teaching in general pathology and basic microbiology is completed in the first two years of the medical programme. This is carried out by means of problem-based learning, interactive lectures, tutorials and practical classes. In years 3-5, teaching is continued in the form of combined teaching sessions and student presentations. Students also return to the Department for a two-week posting in year-3 in which basic concepts of microbiology with added focus on clinical aspects are covered. Formal lectures in forensic pathology are also conducted in year-3. Students also visit several institutes where they acquire experience in autopsy practice and legal aspects of medicine. Year-5 students also rotate through the section of Haematology where they learn common haematological problems through interactive teaching sessions on a weekly basis. They also learn to integrate morphological findings of blood smear with the clinical diagnosis.
An important teaching resource is the Histopathology Museum, which houses a comprehensive collection of anatomical pathology specimens and slides. A forensic pathology museum is also planned which will provide another valuable departmental teaching resource.
Teaching in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology is carried out by professors, associate and assistant professors, many instructors and senior instructors as well as invited lecturers. The Department has also established itself as a highly successful and active research department in the field of biomedical and clinical sciences. Students are encouraged to participate in research projects and publish their findings in peer-reviewed local and international journals.