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J Dermatolog Treat. 2013 Jun;24(3):215-20. doi: 10.3109/09546634.2012.671916. Epub 2013 Jan 20.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer treatment training varies across different medical specialists.

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Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1071, USA.



Physicians from various specialties treat patients with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The isolation of specialties from each other may result in different approaches to skin cancer training.


Our purpose was to determine the type and amount of NMSC surgical training that is received during dermatology, general surgery, internal medicine, otolaryngology, and plastic surgery residencies.


E-mail contact information for residency program directors of all accredited programs in each specialty was compiled through the American Medical Association's online residency database. A total of 920 residency program directors were emailed surveys concerning the training of residents in the treatment of NMSC.


Forty-two of 920 surveys were returned. All surveyed specialty groups, except internal medicine, had training in NMSC treatment including simple excision, split thickness skin grafts, and tissue rearrangement. A majority of the dermatology and plastic surgery programs instruct their residents in Mohs micrographic surgery and full thickness skin grafts. Electrodessication and curettage was most often instructed in dermatology, general surgery, and plastic surgery programs.


Greater consistency in NMSC treatment training may be beneficial. Because different approaches may be best suited to particular clinical situations, NMSC treatment training should include adequate exposure to all NMSC treatment techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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