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Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2017 Nov;33(6):321-325. doi: 10.1111/phpp.12347. Epub 2017 Sep 25.

Perceptions of U.S. dermatology residency program directors regarding the adequacy of phototherapy training during residency.

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Drexel University College of Medicine/Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Public Health Sciences, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, USA.
New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.



Phototherapy utilization has declined over the last 20 years despite its efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Adequacy of phototherapy training in residency may be a contributing factor. The purpose of this study was to evaluate perceptions of U.S. dermatology residency program directors (PDs) regarding the effectiveness of their programs' phototherapy training and what constitutes adequate phototherapy education.


A questionnaire was sent to PDs to assess phototherapy training within their program; aspects such as dedicated time, exposure to different modalities, and barriers to resident education were surveyed. We assessed the statistical association between these aspects and the perception by PDs that a program's training was adequate. Statistical testing was reported using Fisher's exact tests.


A total of 42 PDs responded. Residency training in oral psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy (PUVA), home phototherapy, and excimer laser, respectively, is not provided in 19.0%, 31.0%, and 47.6% of programs. 38.1% of programs provide ≤5 hours of phototherapy training over 3 years of training. 59.5% of PDs cited lack of curriculum time as the most common barrier to phototherapy education. 19.0% of PDs reported completely adequate phototherapy training, which was significantly associated with inclusion of faculty-led didactics, assigned reading, or hands-on clinical training in the curriculum.


There is a mismatch between the resources devoted to phototherapy education and the need for dedicated training reported by PDs. Limited time is allocated to phototherapy training during dermatology residency, and a large majority of PDs do not feel that the phototherapy training offered is completely adequate.


UVB; education; light therapy; phototherapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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