Dermatology Online Journal
CD Review: Dermatology for Medical Students and Residents by Norman Levine and Emmanuel Mesel
- Author(s): Dinulos, Review by James
- et al.
CD Review - Dermatology for Medical Students and Residents
Section of Dermatology, University of Washington
James Dinulos, M.D.
Dermatology Online Journal 7(1): 20
Teaching students of dermatology a systematic approach to the diagnosis of skin conditions is one of the most difficult and challenging tasks in clinical medicine, even for the most seasoned educators. This difficulty is in part due to limited time devoted to dermatology during undergraduate medical education coupled with increased clinical and administrative demands on educators. "Dermatology for Medical Students and Residents" creates an interface that allows beginning students of dermatology to supplement bedside teaching with an interactive systematic approach to the diagnosis of common skin disorders.
The main menu of the interface contains six sections: morphology, algorithm, disease index, group menu, self-cases and glossary. The basic morphology section presents 29 essential dermatological terms accompanied by clear, crisp representative images. The complexity of the information increases as one proceeds through the CD-ROM in a linear fashion. After mastering primary and secondary lesions, the user encounters a clinical algorithm for dermatological differential diagnosis. The first level of the algorithm is based on the following questions: 1) Are there blisters present?, 2) Is the rash red?, 3) Is scale present?. A secondary question level leads to one of 10 diagnostic groups: vesiculobullous diseases, pustular diseases, skin colored lesions, white lesions, brown/black lesions, yellow lesions, red papules and nodules, vascular reactions, papulosquamous diseases, and eczematous diseases.
|Figure 1||Figure 2|
A self-test entitled "learning the algorithm" provides an opportunity to actively apply the algorithm to skin lesions. This useful and unique aspect of the CD-ROM compels the user to think systematically and place the lesion into the appropriate diagnostic group. Appropriate feedback is given for each answer, so that the user can identify specific areas of weakness. In addition, 50 clinical case scenarios supplement the algorithm and provide more opportunity to apply principles of dermatological differential diagnosis.
Other useful features include an alphabetical index and a diagnostic group index of common dermatological diseases. The supporting text is divided into three sections entitled "fundamentals", "differential diagnosis", and "atlas." The text is well written, accurate and targeted to an audience interested in an introduction to clinical dermatology. Students who desire a more comprehensive text should be guided to another educational source.
Through "Dermatology for Medical Students and Residents", Drs. Levine and Mesel produce a novel educational tool that in many ways surpasses the encyclopedic format of standard dermatological texts. By providing an interactive format, they successfully teach a clinically useful and systematic diagnostic approach to skin disease. Both educators and students of dermatology would find this CD-ROM to be a practical educational tool to supplement bedside teaching.
Compared to print version
Tables: Comparison of Features of Dermatology CD-ROMs Reviewed in This and Earlier 'Media Review' Sections of Dermatology Online Journal. (All costs quoted are for personal purchases)
© 2001 Dermatology Online Journal