Expert Consensus Statement on Proficiency Standards for Dermoscopy Education in Primary Care.

Document Type


Publication Date



Family Medicine

Journal Title

J Am Board Fam Med

MeSH Headings

Humans, Melanoma, Dermoscopy, Skin Neoplasms, Skin, Primary Health Care


BACKGROUND: Primary care providers (PCPs) frequently address dermatologic concerns and perform skin examinations during clinical encounters. For PCPs who evaluate concerning skin lesions, dermoscopy (a noninvasive skin visualization technique) has been shown to increase the sensitivity for skin cancer diagnosis compared with unassisted clinical examinations. Because no formal consensus existed on the fundamental knowledge and skills that PCPs should have with respect to dermoscopy for skin cancer detection, the objective of this study was to develop an expert consensus statement on proficiency standards for PCPs learning or using dermoscopy.

METHODS: A 2-phase modified Delphi method was used to develop 2 proficiency standards. In the study's first phase, a focus group of PCPs and dermatologists generated a list of dermoscopic diagnoses and associated features. In the second phase, a larger panel evaluated the proposed list and determined whether each diagnosis was reflective of a foundational or intermediate proficiency or neither.

RESULTS: Of the 35 initial panelists, 5 PCPs were lost to follow-up or withdrew; 30 completed the fifth and last round. The final consensus-based list contained 39 dermoscopic diagnoses and associated features.

CONCLUSIONS: This consensus statement will inform the development of PCP-targeted dermoscopy training initiatives designed to support early cancer detection.



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