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The A&P Professor Podcast
TAPP Radio

Content updates and teaching advice for teachers of human anatomy & physiology (A&P) from professor, author, and mentor Kevin Patton. 

Have a question, comment, or an idea for an episode you'd like to hear—or in which you would like to participate or help plan? Contact host Kevin Patton. Or call the podcast hotline at 1-833-LION-DEN (1-833-546-6336).

For more details on each episode—including transcripts—please visit The A&P Professor website.

Apr 20, 2022

Host Kevin Patton discusses the fact that many students hate histology. And perhaps even some faculty. Are there any ways to fix that? Kevin thinks he may have found a breakthrough idea.

00:00 | Introduction

01:20 | Sponsored by AAA

02:25 | Why Do Students Hate Histology?

16:27 | Sponsored by HAPI

17:06 | Birding For Tissues

39:15 | Sponsored by HAPS

40:14 | A Breakthrough

51:25 | Staying Connected


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“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.” (Anne Lamott)


Sponsored by AAA

62 seconds

A searchable transcript for this episode, as well as the captioned audiogram of this episode, are sponsored by the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) at

Searchable transcript

Captioned audiogram 

Don't forget—HAPS members get a deep discount on AAA membership!

AAA logo


Why Do Students Hate Histology?

14 minutes

Students often hate histology. At least they start off that way. Why is that? Maybe because histology is not simple. It's stratified.

The Storytelling Special | Episode 48

Playful & Serious Is the Perfect Combo for A&P | Episode 13

★ Jackson Pollock and His Paintings (the more you know, right?)


Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program

35 seconds

The Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction—the MS-HAPI—is a graduate program for A&P teachers, especially for those who already have a graduate/professional degree. A combination of science courses (enough to qualify you to teach at the college level) and courses in contemporary instructional practice, this program helps you be your best in both on-campus and remote teaching. Kevin Patton is a faculty member in this program at Northeast College of Health Sciences. Check it out!

Logo of Northeast College of Health Sciences, Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction


Birding For Tissues

22 minutes

One approach to making histology more interesting—and perhaps easier—is to share  and teach our expert eye. As when learning to identify animals such as birds from an expert. We look at what that expert looks at. In birding, Peterson called these field marks. In histology, Kevin calls these landmark characteristics.

★ Peterson Field Guide to Birds (shows birds with field marks and range maps)

★ An Expert Derived Feedforward Histology Module Improves Pattern Recognition Efficiency in Novice Students (journal article from Anat Sci Educ)

★ Eye tracking reveals expertise-related differences in the time-course of medical image inspection and diagnosis (journa article from J of Medical Imaging)

★ AAA Histology Education Resources (includes links to virtual microscope, collections, etc.)

★ Field Guide to the Human Body (web page for students;  has help using Kevin's "field guide" approach to learning tissues and other body structures)

Finding Media | Images and More for Teaching Anatomy & Physiology (sources for histology images—and even Jackson Pollock paintings)


Sponsored by HAPS

36 seconds

The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is a sponsor of this podcast.  You can help appreciate their support by clicking the link below and checking out the many resources and benefits found there. Watch for virtual town hall meetings and upcoming regional meetings!

Anatomy & Physiology Society

HAPS logo


A Breakthrough

11 minutes

Using clickers in a kind of gamification strategy that leverages spaced retrieval practice, Kevin found that his students not only have fun, but also begged for more practice time!

Clickers (on-demand online seminar from The A&P Professor; digital credential available)

★ The clicker commandment I always violate (blog post on using clickers in the manner described in this segment) 

Revisiting Retrieval Practice | Episode 68

Desirable Difficulty | More Web Meeting Skills | TAPP 78

Micro-Credentials & Gamification in the A&P Course | Brown & Black Skin | Refresher Tests | TAPP 87



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★ Transcript and captions for this episode are supported by the American Association for Anatomy |

★ The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society provides marketing support for this podcast |

★ Distribution of this episode is supported by the Northeast College of Health Sciences online graduate program in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction (HAPI) |

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