Dedicated general practitioner education sessions can improve diagnostic capabilities and may have a positive effect on referral patterns for common skin lesions
- 5 Downloads
General practitioners (GPs) require the necessary skills to identify potentially malignant skin lesions and refer patients in an appropriate and timely manner. We examined the impact of a single consultant delivered education session to GP trainees on their diagnosis of common skin lesions.
A prospective analysis of baseline knowledge was assessed using a photographic questionnaire. A dedicated education session was delivered by a consultant plastic surgeon. Their knowledge was re-assessed after 3 months.
There were 23 participants. Baseline ability to correctly diagnose skin lesions improved significantly at 3 months following dedicated teaching (baseline mean 30.2%, 3-month mean 65.9%, p = 0.001). All trainees recommended that dedicated skin education should be incorporated into GP training curricula.
Dedicated education sessions on skin lesions can improve the diagnostic accuracy of GP trainees, and we suggest that they are incorporated into the GP training curriculum.
KeywordsDermatology Education Family medicine General practitioner GP Plastic surgery Skin cancer Skin lesions Training
Thank you to all the GP trainees who kindly participated in this study. We are grateful to their trainer, Dr. Frank O’Leary, for facilitating the education session. The authors would also like to thank Anthony Edwards, the clinical photographer, for performing the photography.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- 2.NCCP. National non-melanoma skin cancer GP referral guideline: HSE; 2015 [1:[accessed 18/12/15 2015Google Scholar
- 3.NCRI. Cancer in Ireland (2013) Annual report of the National Cancer Registry Cork. In: 2013Google Scholar
- 7.Badertscher N, Braun RP, Held U, et al. Diagnostic competence of Swiss general practitioners in skin cancer. Swiss medical weekly 2013;143:w13834. doi: https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2013.13834 [published Online First: 2013/07/31]
- 8.Beecher SM, Donlan C, O’Leary DP et al (2015) Clinical and economic benefit of general practitioner integration to a symptomatic breast service. Ir J Med Sci. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-015-1386-2 [published Online First: 2015/11/26]
- 9.Salisbury C, Noble A, Horrocks S et al (2005) Evaluation of a general practitioner with special interest service for dermatology: randomised controlled trial. BMJ (Clin Res ed) 331(7530):1441–1446. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38670.494734.7C [published Online First: 2005/12/08]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 11.Morton CA, Downie F, Auld S, Smith B, van der Pol M, Baughan P, Wells J, Wootton R (2011) Community photo-triage for skin cancer referrals: an aid to service delivery. Clin Exp Dermatol 36(3):248–254. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2230.2010.03960.x [published Online First: 2010/11/13]CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar