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Dermatology Online Journal

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Dermatology residency preparation curriculum: a model for initiating new residents into dermatology clinical care


Entering dermatology residency is an immersive experience requiring new specialty-specific skills. There is no standard Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) protocol for orienting new dermatology residents. We aimed to design, develop, and evaluate a curriculum for incoming first-year dermatology residents focusing on practical introduction to dermatologic clinical care emphasizing ACGME dermatology milestones. A concentrated 8-hour residency preparation course for first-year dermatology residents was designed and developed by faculty. The course encompassed clinical competencies, procedural techniques, and professionalism and collegiality principles. Teaching methods included lectures, video demonstrations, simulated patient experiences, and one-on-one practical instruction. Surveys were distributed before, immediately after, and 6-months following the course from 2016-2018 to assess participants’ skill-based confidence level and perceived usefulness of the course. A total of 24 first-year dermatology residents participated in the residency preparation course over 3 years from 2016-2018. Residents’ confidence levels in performing dermatology-specific skills immediately increased following the course and continued to increase 6 months into training. The majority of first-year residents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the course was helpful for improving clinical competence. Our residency preparation course increased first-year residents’ confidence and perceived competence in performing clinical skills related to ACGME dermatology milestones.

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