Student perceptions of “doing” hematology physiology practicals.
Although hands-on experience in hematology practical work has been an integral part of physiology education, the students’ perception on the importance of the same has remained largely unexplored. The objective of this study was to explore students’ perception on the importance of “doing” hematology experiments. The first-year medical students of the 2017-18 batch filled out a semistructured questionnaire at the end of the course of hematology practicals. The questionnaire captured their perception of the importance of doing hematology practicals on their own blood, the assessment of the same, and its value in medical training. Students indicated that doing practicals individually by pricking themselves was a necessary part of physiology teaching ( = 126 responses: 43 men, 83 women; 86%). They felt that it not only improved their knowledge ( = 120: 39 men, 81 women; 82%) and fine-motor skills ( = 107: 41 men, 66 women; 73%), but also molded their attitude ( = 101: 41 men, 60 women; 69%), gearing them to become empathetic and confident doctors. They felt that some practicals were unnecessary/outdated; this needs attention. While suggesting a few modifications in the practical curriculum, almost all students felt that the practicals should be continued for future batches. Students felt that doing hematology practical work was a necessary part of their training. It improved their knowledge, skills, and attitude, making them more empathetic and confident doctors.