Effect of dermoscopy education on the ability of medical students to detect skin cancer Journal Article


Authors: Liebman, T. N.; Goulart, J. M.; Soriano, R.; Dusza, S. W.; Halpern, A. C.; Lee, K. K.; Marghoob, A. A.
Article Title: Effect of dermoscopy education on the ability of medical students to detect skin cancer
Abstract: Objectives: To determine students' ability to discriminate benign vs malignant lesions and to assess attitudes regarding skin cancer examination (SCE). Design: Second-year medical students at 1 institution participated in an SCE intervention for 2 consecutive years. Intervention: Cohort 1 received intervention A, consisting of SCE teaching without a dermoscopy tutorial. Cohort 2 received intervention B, consisting of SCE teaching with a dermoscopy tutorial, access to online dermoscopy resources, and a dermoscope. Main Outcome Measure: Surveys before and after the lecture included an image-based test of 10 lesions to assess ability to differentiate benign from malignant lesions. Results: There were 130 participants from cohort 1 and 131 participants from cohort 2 at the postintervention survey. At baseline, students in both groups reported similar attitudes regarding the value of SCE (P=.05) and intention to perform SCE on patients (P=.55). Overall, cohort 2 exhibited improvement (P<.001) from preintervention (52.0% correct) to postintervention assessments (63.0% correct), whereas cohort 1 did not (47.0% and 46.0% correct, respectively; P=.50). Although both groups improved (P<.001) in the diagnosis of the superficial spreading melanoma, cohort 2 improved in the diagnosis of the basal cell carcinoma (P<.001) and cohort 1 displayed deterioration in identifying the malignant nature of this lesion (P<.001). For the nodular melanoma, correct diagnosis decreased significantly in cohort 1 (P<.001) and negligibly in cohort 2 (P=.90). Conclusions: Students receiving the dermoscopy tutorial improve in diagnosis of cutaneous lesions compared with those not receiving the dermoscopy intervention. Teaching SCE with inclusion of dermoscopy may be an effective means of enhancing skin cancer knowledge. ©2012 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
Keywords: adult; controlled study; young adult; cancer diagnosis; prospective study; prospective studies; melanoma; dermoscopy; basal cell carcinoma; skin neoplasms; tumor differentiation; skin cancer; cohort analysis; epiluminescence microscopy; medical education; melanocytic nevus; diagnostic value; clinical competence; skin examination; seborrheic keratosis; clinical effectiveness; dysplastic nevus; cancer classification; superficial spreading melanoma; medical student; learning; education, medical; students, medical; social participation; student attitude; study skills
Journal Title: Archives of Dermatology
Volume: 148
Issue: 9
ISSN: 0003-987X
Publisher: American Medical Association  
Date Published: 2012-09-01
Start Page: 1016
End Page: 1022
Language: English
DOI: 10.1001/archdermatol.2012.509
PROVIDER: scopus
PUBMED: 22986850
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Export Date: 1 October 2012" - "CODEN: ARDEA" - "Source: Scopus"
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MSK Authors
  1. Allan C Halpern
    387 Halpern
  2. Stephen Dusza
    259 Dusza
  3. Ashfaq A Marghoob
    511 Marghoob
  4. Tracey Nicole Liebman
    11 Liebman