Visual expertise development among clinical pathologists

Thomas Jaarsma, Halszka Jarodzka, Marius Nap, Jeroen Van Merriënboer, Els Boshuizen

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    Visual expertise is becoming more and more a crucial part of medical expertise. The amount of medical images produced has grown tremendously and the last decades have welcomed several new and increasingly dynamic imaging techniques (Krupinski, 2010). Nevertheless, visual expertise has so far mainly been studied in domains using static images, such as X-ray images (Reingold & Sheridan, 2011). This is also true for the domain of clinical pathology, where pathologists interactively navigate and zoom within digital slides. Research in this domain either restricted these navigation possibilities (Krupinski et al., 2006; Tiersma, Peters, Mooij, & Fleuren, 2003) or neglected the visual processes (Crowley, Naus, Stewart, & Friedman, 2003). Hence, not much is known on visual expertise in domains that deal with interactive, medical images.In this study, six clinical pathologists of different expertise levels, performed diagnostic tasks on a virtual microscope (i.e., computer software displaying scanned tissue samples in a similar way as a light microscope). By measuring eye movements, microscope navigation and thinking aloud, insight in both visual and cognitive expertise was gained. Each participant viewed four histological slides, representing different diseases of the colon and annotated diagnostically relevant areas in the slide, while thinking-aloud. At the time of writing this submission, the data collection was just finished, hence the analysis is not fully completed, yet. However, some expected results – based on theory and prior studies – are given in the extended summary. This study will contribute to the understanding of visual expertise by developing a methodology which is fit for the study of interactive images.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2013
    EventEARLI Sig 14 "Learning and Professional Development": Learning in transition - Antwerp, Belgium
    Duration: 22 Aug 201224 Aug 2012


    ConferenceEARLI Sig 14 "Learning and Professional Development"
    Abbreviated titleSIG14


    • Visual expertise
    • pathology


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