Instrument Assesses Competency in Detecting Melanoma

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Instrument Assesses Competency in Detecting Melanoma
Instrument Assesses Competency in Detecting Melanoma

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Skin Cancer Objective Structured Clinical Examination is a well-developed instrument that can assess medical student competency in detecting melanoma, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

In an effort to develop an objective structured clinical examination for the detection and assessment of melanoma, Amit Garg, M.D., from Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, N.Y., and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort analysis of medical students. The authors examined agreement on performance of clinical skills and assessed differences in performance across three schools.

The researchers observed excellent agreement for three of the five core skills, including commenting on the presence of the moulage, obtaining a history of the moulage, and making a clinical impression (k = 0.87, 0.84, and 0.80, respectively). With respect to three of the five skills, there were no differences in performance across schools: commenting on the presence of the moulage (P = 0.15), initiating a history (P = 0.53), and managing the suspicious lesion (P value range = 0.7 to 0.17). Overall, 54.2 percent of students commented on the presence of the moulage and 44.7 percent achieved maximum performance of core skills; no difference in performance was seen across schools.

"The Skin Cancer Objective Structured Clinical Examination represents a potentially important instrument to measure students' performance on the optimal step-by-step evaluation of a melanoma," the authors write.

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