Training Dermatology Residents in Dermatoscopy: A Case Control Lecture Series Assessment


      Lack of standardized dermatoscopy training limits confidence and accuracy. We assessed the impact of a dermatoscopy lecture series on the diagnostic accuracy of dermatology residents' biopsies. Additionally, we evaluated resident comfort with and knowledge of dermatoscopy before and after the curriculum.
      Twelve dermatology residents were enrolled in a five-month dedicated dermatoscopy curriculum. To assess knowledge of and comfort with dermatoscopy, residents were given a 50-question assessment and 21-question survey before and after the curriculum. Change in diagnostic accuracy was assessed by comparing the suspected clinical diagnosis to the final histopathologic diagnosis of lesions biopsied by residents before and after the course.
      Upon completion of the curriculum, residents felt significantly more comfortable performing dermatoscopy (p = 0.002) and using dermatoscopy to identify melanocytic nevi (p = 0.037) and melanomas (invasive and in situ)(p = 0.012). PGY-2 residents also showed significantly improved diagnostic accuracy after the training course OR = 1.33 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06 - 1.67; p = 0.013). Our study was limited by a small sample size of 12 residents from a single academic institution.
      A formal dermatoscopy course can effectively improve dermatology residents’ knowledge, confidence, and diagnostic accuracy when using dermatoscopy.


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