Textbook Heroes: Fernando P. Bruno

image: Dr. Fernando P. Bruno [provided]

Welcome to our series recognizing champions of free and affordable course materials at Touro! These “Textbook Heroes” have made a difference in the lives of our students by lowering the cost of their degrees. Do you know someone who fits the bill? Nominate them (or yourself) by contacting the Libraries.

Fernando P. Bruno is an Associate Professor in the Anatomy department of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is also a Fellow in our Health Sciences and Allied Health Open Educational Resources (OER) Faculty Fellowship 2020-2021. 

[refresher: Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are free to all users. They reside in the public domain, or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.] 

The Touro College OER Faculty Fellowship, sponsored by Touro College Libraries and funded by a grant from the Network of the National Library of Medicine Middle Atlantic Region, supports faculty in the health sciences and allied health fields in developing Open Educational Resources for their undergraduate and graduate students. The fellowship was awarded to five Touro Faculty members to support adopting, or creating OER for use in their courses.

Below, Dr. Bruno answers a few questions about his OER Fellowship project.

What were your goals for the fellowship project? 

“My project aimed to establish a medical histology question bank (QBank) that could be easily paired with medical school and other health and biomedical programs, first at Touro College and later to other institutions. On the faculty side, this question bank will assist instructors in offering practice questions to their students. On the learner side, these are first-order questions that will allow the students to self-assess and consolidate their knowledge after studying the recommended weekly materials before coming to class. In our courses, they will be made available on Canvas and can also be made available on other academic interface platforms.”   

Why were you interested in OER in the first place?  

“Mastering histology is critical to understanding human microanatomy and pathology, which is essential for thriving in healthcare and biomedical programs. However, there is a scarcity of quality question banks that can be offered to students. When available, some of these QBanks are highly costly, compelling students to search for lower-cost alternatives that are frequently unreliable. For a long time, I had considered creating a set of questions that could be offered to medical students. When I heard about the OER fellowship, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to put the idea into practice while also having the support of our experienced librarians. 

What is the positive impact you hope to make on your students? 

“Before this fellowship, I was not very familiar with open educational resources. Having served as a fellow, I perceive OERs as a fundamental tool and a positive force towards educational equity. OER materials encourage collaboration and can make higher education more affordable, which is particularly valuable during uncertain times.   

Education is the key that opened the doors in my trajectory and permitted my career in medicine and science. Coming from a family of teachers, my parents instilled an appreciation for education at a young age. Education broadened my horizons in my lifetime in academia, and I am honored to be a physician and educator who can pass this value forward, and this fellowship reinforced that. I will continue to advocate for OERs, as I resume my plans to create educational and research materials for the public domain that can be accessed, edited, and shared for free.” 

The Health Issue: Awareness and Research

Medical office - middle-aged male doctor greeting patient, shaking hands.
(via flickr)

The New York Times Magazine of May 15th 2016 issue was dedicated to the anatomy of cancer. For most of us it is a very sad and disturbing issue, and in majority people do not like to talk about it or even mention the word. I know that it is not a pleasant topic, but I think that it is very important to build a good understanding and spread awareness about different health issues including “The big C”. One of the starting points in understanding is the development and genetics behind the disease. One of the articles does a great job in creating a clear picture through images and facts what the development of cancer looks like: Continue reading

Staff Profile: Katie Flood (+Tips for health science students!)


My name is Katie Flood and I am the evening Library Assistant at the Bay Shore campus. I’m fairly new to the Touro community, having just started my tenure here in early June. I moved to Long Island after graduating from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor of Science in Wellness Management and minors in Health Science and Athletic Coaching. I was extremely interested in a position with the Bay Shore Library because I felt my health science background would allow me to relate to the students here and act as a resource.

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Guest Post: What do you think of when you hear the word graduation?

photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreTouro/photos

For many graduation signifies the end of an educational journey. It’s the end of classes, study groups, and tests. However, it does not have to be the end of your relationship with Touro. Graduation is not only about no longer being a student; it’s about transitioning into an alumnus. That new title comes with certain perks that go beyond just the occasional reunion.

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Let’s Meet at the Science Cafe!


I was reading Librarian Sally Gore’s recent blog post, and she mentioned attending a Science Café in Worcester, Mass.  I was intrigued by this idea, so I looked around for more information.  Have you ever heard of Science Cafés?  If you like the idea of learning about science in a relaxed, fun atmosphere then Science Cafés may be for you.  Continue reading

Calling all students on rotations! Evidence is at your Fingertips.

Touro College now has access to an exciting new resource specifically formulated for point of care use!

courtesy of EBSCOhost
courtesy of EBSCOhost

What is DynaMed?

DynaMed is a clinical reference tool created by physicians for physicians and health care professionals for clinical/point of care use.  DynaMed provides current evidence-based information that is accessible anytime, anywhere.

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Save a Life! Check AccessMedicine

J. Troha (Photographer)/ Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

If you rely on Google or Wikipedia for drug information, you could be missing important updates on safety. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues safety warnings when a prescription drug is found to have an adverse reaction in a particular patient population.  FDA Safety warnings are posted on the MedWatch Portal.  But these safety warnings don’t always make it to Google or Wikipedia in a timely manner.

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The DSM-5 is now available

dsm-5-released-big-changes-dsm5The Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was recently released and is available for Touro Library patrons’ use.  The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is the standard resource used to diagnose mental disorders by clinicians.  Health Science students also use the Manual in their study of Mental Health care.  The previous edition, DSM-IV-TR was published in 2000.  Several of the Touro campus libraries will have the print edition of the DSM-5 available in the reference section.  The e-book version of the DSM-5 is available free for all Touro patrons through our subscription to the database Psychiatry Online http://psychiatryonline.org/

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