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Australas J Dermatol. 2005 Nov;46(4):230-4.

Assessing diagnostic skill in dermatology: a comparison between general practitioners and dermatologists.

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St George Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centre and St George Hospital, Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia.


This retrospective study was conducted to assess and compare the diagnostic accuracy between referring general practitioners and dermatologists with regard to skin conditions. Six hundred and fifty-six consecutive general practitioner referrals to a private dermatology practice and a dermatology outpatient department were assessed. The concordance rate in diagnoses from a wide spectrum of dermatological diseases was compared between general practitioners and dermatologists. Referring general practitioners agreed with dermatologists' clinical diagnosis and histology (when available) in 42% of cases. The concordance between general practitioners and dermatologists in the setting of non-biopsied cases is 45%. One hundred and fifty-one of 656 (23%) conditions had histological confirmation. Overall, general practitioners agreed with the histological diagnosis in 24% of cases and dermatologists agreed with the histological diagnosis in 77% of cases.

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