Skin Cancer and Dermoscopy Training for Primary Care Physicians: A Pilot Study

This pilot study aimed to determine the effect on diagnostic accuracy of education of primary care physicians on skin cancer and dermoscopy use. Twenty-one primary care physicians from rural areas of Colombia participated in a 2-day skin cancer and dermoscopy training, followed by a day-long hands-on session on dermoscopy at a free skin cancer screening event. Pre- and post-tests were performed using clinical and dermoscopic images to evaluate the user’s ability to diagnose and differentiate benign and malignant neoplasms. Participants’ levels of confidence were also assessed. After training, the sensitivity and specificity of accurate characterisation and diagnosis increased by 23.6% and 21%, respectively. Overall, levels of physician confidence increased across all forms of imaging. Based on these results, providers serving populations with limited healthcare access may benefit from further education in skin cancers with the use of dermoscopy. This may ultimately improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs, however larger scale randomised trials would be required to substantiate this.

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