Document Type


Publication Date



Maine Medical Center, Medical Education, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Family Medicine

MeSH Headings

Dermoscopy, Triage, Skin Neoplasms, Skin, Algorithms


Background: Skin cancer develops in 1 in 5 Americans and early detection, especially for melanoma saves lives. Dermoscopy is known to aid family physicians in skin cancer detection. Training with the triage almalgameted dermoscopic algorithm (TADA) has high sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing between benign and malignant skin neoplasms. The purpose of this study was to determine if medical students who undergo TADA training have similar rates of improved diagnostic accuracy for differentiating benign versus malignant skin neoplasms as seasoned clinicians.

Methods: Using the TADA framework a 90 minute workshop was taught to family physicians, and medical residents and at a later time first and second year medical students. Clinical and dermoscopic features of benign skin growths and skin cancer were reviewed. A hands on interactive session using the dermatascope was included. All participants took a 30 image pretest and a different 30 image post test.

Results: Forty six attending physicians, 23 residents and 46 medical students participated in the workshop. Although medical students had lower pre-test scores the post test scores for distinguishing benign versus malignant skin growths was the same. The mean pre-test scores for medical students was 15.8 and the post test scores 24.1. Mean resident scores went from 20.3 to 25.9 and attending physicians from 20.1 to 24.5.

Conclusion: Short dermoscopy training sessions are as effective for medical students in comparison of training family physicians and residents. Consideration could be given for dermoscopy training to be added to the medical school curriculum.


2020 Costas T. Lambrew Research Retreat