Adding dermoscopy education to the teaching of skin cancer diagnosis may be an effective method for teaching and engaging medical students, researchers say.
“Students who received the dermoscopy tutorial improved in diagnosis of cutaneous lesions as compared to students who did not receive the dermoscopy education,” Ashfaq Marghoob, MD, and colleagues wrote in a poster presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The researchers performed a pilot study with the objective of quantifying second-year medical students’ abilities to discriminate benign vs. malignant lesions and to assess attitudes regarding performing skin cancer examination. Students (n=264) were separated into cohorts who received either a 1-hour skin cancer examination teaching intervention without a dermoscopy tutorial (cohort 1) or a 1-hour skin cancer examination teaching intervention with a dermoscopy tutorial, in addition to being given access to online dermoscopy resources and a dermatoscope (cohort 2). The students in each cohort were given pre- and post-lecture surveys, which included an image-based test of 10 lesions.
Students’ confidence in determining the benign or malignant nature of lesions was similar between both cohorts at baseline but increased from pre- to post-lecture tests. Students who received the dermoscopy tutorial exhibited significant improvement (P<.001) from pretest (52% correct) to post-test (63%), whereas the students who did not receive the tutorial did not improve (47% to 46% correct; P=.50), according to the researchers.
“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) while cohort 1 displayed a significant deterioration in identifying the malignant nature of this lesion (P<.001),
the researchers wrote. “For the nodular melanoma, there was a significant decrease in the correct diagnosis in cohort 1 (P<.001) along with a negligible decrease in cohort 2 (P=.90).”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
For more information:
Liebman T. Abstract #4583. Presented at: The 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. March 16-20, 2012. San Diego, Calif.