This course is taught to level 200 Medical/Dental students, and postgraduate Anatomy (M.Phil & Ph.D) students. The students are introduced to the history and evolution of histology as an anatomical science, particularly the central role played by inventions of the microscope and microtome. They are taught the structural organisation of cells and the distinguishing morphological characteristics of the four basic tissues, namely; epithelium, connective tissue, muscular tissue, and nervous tissue. After acquiring this basic knowledge, students are taught how the four types of tissues combine to form organs and organ systems. This portion of the course focuses on the normal microscopic features of the major organ systems of the body, providing a framework for understanding their normal physiological functions; as well as pathological changes in diseases/trauma of these systems. Histological study of the systems is done mindful of regional/systemic coordination with the Gross Anatomy and Medical Embryology courses.
Throughout the histology course it is impressed upon students to look for correlations with Physiology, and links with biochemical composition of tissue structures that provide correlation with Medical Biochemistry. Students are always reminded that the knowledge acquired in this course prepares them to examine the basic pathologic abnormalities that affect tissue and organ function, including mechanisms of cell injury and inflammation in histopathology course at level 300.
Each class period begins with a one-hour lecture; followed by three hours spent in the laboratory. Practical (laboratory) work entails examining slides with the light microscope, and/or examining micrographs of histological sections of relevant organs.