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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Dec;65(6):e165-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.07.024. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

The eDerm online curriculum: a randomized study of effective skin cancer teaching to medical students.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94115, USA. dr@dolevdermatology.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

With the incidence of skin cancers continuing to increase, traditional clerkships may not be sufficient to teach medical students important detection and management skills.

OBJECTIVE:

We performed a randomized study to determine the efficacy of the online curriculum, eDerm.

METHOD:

Students were randomized to complete eDerm before or after clerkship (arm 1 vs 2) and were tested at 3 time points, including at baseline. The crossover design examined eDerm and clerkship, and the sequential effect of both.

RESULTS:

In all, 252 participants completed all interventions and testing. Diagnosis and management scores significantly improved in both arms (P < .001; P < .001), reflecting increased scores after taking both eDerm and clerkship. eDerm after clerkship resulted in the highest improvement in diagnosis (P = .005), and eDerm improved the detection of melanoma significantly better than clerkship (malignant, P < .001; pigmented, P < .001).

LIMITATIONS:

We did not perform delayed testing of medical students for learning retention.

CONCLUSION:

eDerm significantly improves the diagnosis and management of nonpigmented and pigmented skin lesions by medical students. It can be used as an alternative to a traditional 2-week clerkship if one is not available. Importantly, melanoma detection improved significantly more after eDerm than clerkship. When used as a supplement, eDerm administered after a clerkship will result in the highest level of overall learning.

PMID:
21112668
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaad.2010.07.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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