Osmosis News

Learn Histology With New Videos on Osmosis Prime

Osmosis Team
Published on Sep 15, 2020. Updated on Sep 18, 2020.

Today, we’re pleased to officially announce a new video series on Osmosis: Histology! This new video series will cover histology for all the organ systems you’ll need to know in your health professional program. Learn more about it in today’s blog!

Histology is one of the most challenging topics to figure out in medical school. Many students we’ve spoken to have compared histology to Where’s Waldo?, as it challenges you to identify the most minute details in a sea of tissue that, at first glance, looks pretty similar across the board. Histology also regarded as a very dry topic—but Osmosis is here to change that perception and show you that learning histology can be fun! 

The Osmosis Histology series currently contains 20 videos, with 17 more to be added by early October to complete the series. Creation was led by three physicians on the Osmosis team: Dr. Justin Ling, who’s a video animator and scriptwriter on the Osmosis team,  Dr. Ghassan Tranesh, an Osmosis Faculty Reviewer and Histologist who teaches at the University of Arizona’s Department of Pathology, and Dr. Rishi Desai, our Chief Medical Officer. 

We interviewed Dr. Ling and Dr. Tranesh to give you the full rundown on how the Osmosis histology videos were created!

Osmosis illustration of Dr. Justin Ling, Dr. Rishi Desai, and Dr. Ghassan Tranesh standing with Mo.

What can students expect to learn from Osmosis’s new Histology video series?

 DR. GHASSAN TRANESH: This series is an approachable way to study histology, with clear explanations and bright visuals. However, it also offers a very deep dive on the topic, covering what medical, dental and nursing students need to be ready to ace their exams. It is very practical and exam oriented, and very easy to follow, step by step.

DR. JUSTIN LING: Each video in the Osmosis Histology series is relatively short and contains easily digestible introductions to “normal” histology of various organ systems. The goal was to produce a video series that helps students quickly learn the key features and characteristics found in each organ system histologically: 

  • Identify important landmarks, common artifacts, typical staining patterns, and common alternate stains used

  • Take note of distinguishing features between similar structures

  • Connect histologic structures to their function/physiology

  • Learn key findings or characteristics that would be seen in certain pathology/diseases   

Screenshot of a histology playlist on Osmosis.

What are the main challenges that students studying histology often face?

GT: Histology is a foundational aspect of studying pathology, yet many students jump into studying pathology before they understand histology. This causes a great hole in their education. Most histology teaching modules are very dry and not oriented to the clinical aspect. We made sure that all of these aspects are covered and very easy to grasp.

JL: I think Dr. Tranesh covered it pretty well! This series is about seeing the importance of histology and how it’s connected to and applies to other areas of medicine such as physiology, pathology, biochemistry, and anatomy.

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How do Osmosis Histology videos help students better understand this topic?

GT: These videos are very comprehensive and exam-oriented. They are also very oriented to the clinical side of studying medicine—this makes them very practical and really clarifies the reason why studying histology is important. Dr. Ling’s illustrations are very simple and easy to understand with multiple real microscopic pictures to correlate with the human tissue.

JL: All of the above, and also occasionally pointing out relationships or connections between diseases/pathology and their histology (I suppose it’s technically histopathology). And explaining why and how one affects the other.

Osmosis GIF showing the Haversian system in our bone histology video.

Do you have any general tips for studying histology? Do you have any tips for studying histology using these videos?

GT:  I recommend students to watch the videos many times and then to read the script. If you’re about to study for a big exam, I personally prefer reviewing histology at the beginning of your journey.

JT: Everyone has their own study style, but I think after getting an understanding of the histology from the videos, it can be useful to study as many images of the same type of tissue as possible. That’s because even with the same tissue, there’s a decent amount of variation that can sometimes make them hard to identify or understand. But with lots of repetition and seeing many images, you can start to see patterns and recognize important features, even if an image isn’t very clear. Watching the videos should help guide students to know what to look for, regardless of any normal variations between tissue samples and image/slide quality.


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Here’s what Sam McBundy, our Content Manager of Video Production, has to say about the new Histology videos on Osmosis:

“The Osmosis Histology series is really unlike any group of videos we’ve made before. While it still includes the helpful illustrations our learners know and love, the majority of the visuals are well-curated histology slides. Histology is a notoriously difficult subject and looking at tissue samples can be very confusing when you’re first starting. The way Justin has gone about colorizing, outlining and labeling these slides makes identifying key features a breeze. He has made order out of chaos and I think our users are going to love learning from his videos. I certainly wish I had them at my disposal when I was taking histology!”

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