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Dermatology Online Journal

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How should medical students prepare for a clinical dermatology rotation?


Skin diseases are commonly encountered in medical practice, yet medical students often receive little dermatology training. There is little research on what self-study materials best prepare students. We aim to identify which resources dermatology residents have found to be most useful in preparing for clinical dermatology rotations and dermatology residency. Forty current dermatology residents and fellows responded to our REDCap-generated survey. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Most respondents (N=36, 90%) reported using outside resources to prepare for clinical dermatology rotations and dermatology residency. American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) modules and other online resources were most used (N=31, 77.5%) and most recommended (N=32, 80%). However, 67.5% of all respondents also used printed textbooks in some capacity, but low-to-no cost, usefulness, and easy accessibility of online resources made them more favorable among study participants. Multiple clinical dermatology rotations were recommended for preparing for dermatology residency (N= 34, 85%), as were other rotations, including internal medicine (N=22, 55%) and rheumatology (N=17, 42.5%). Overall, the AAD modules and online resources are most useful when preparing for clinical dermatology rotations because of favorable cost and accessibility. Compared to clinical rotations in other specialties, multiple rotations in dermatology may be most helpful for dermatology residency.

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