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J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2012 Oct;16(4):398-402. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e318245152b.

Identifying competencies in vulvar disorder management for medical students and residents: a survey of US vulvar disorder experts.

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Department of Dermatology, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Redwood City, CA 94063, USA.



The study aimed to perform a content validation process by surveying vulvar disorder experts to identify evidence-based competencies appropriate for use in developing vulvar curricula for medical trainees.


We identified 65 potential vulvar disorder competencies from literature review and expert opinions. Survey participants rated these competencies from 1 (not at all important) to 4 (highly important) in the training of 3 different groups of learners as follows: medical students, obstetrics and gynecology residents, and dermatology residents. We administered the survey to all US-based clinical members of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease as of September 2008 (n = 90). The content validity index and asymmetric CI were calculated for each curricular competency for each group of learners separately and used to identify competencies for use in curricula development.


Forty-seven surveys were returned, yielding a response rate of 52.2%. Obstetrician-gynecologists represented 66% of the study sample, followed by dermatologists (15%), and nurse practitioners (9%). Seventy-nine percent of experts received their training by self-teaching, which included mentored experiences (62%) and attending conferences or courses (62%). Only 19% received vulvar training during residency and 11% during fellowship. Four curricular competencies met content validity criteria for medical students, 60 competencies for obstetrics and gynecology residents, and 47 competencies for dermatology residents. The differences between the 2 groups of residents focused on vulvovaginal pain and infection, examination, and procedures of the vagina.


The competencies identified in this study can aid in the development of targeted curricula for medical students, obstetrics and gynecology residents, and dermatology residents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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