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Multimedia’s Influence on Dermatology Education

Multimedia’s Influence on Dermatology Education

Where Else to Turn for Education
Just as the podcast has grown in popularity with residents, the literature has begun to recognize the changing landscape of student and resident education. In 2016, Toohey et al8 noted a number of ways to engage the next generation of medical professionals in educational settings, such as:

  • Using classroom time to promote active learning by having students/residents complete basic learning at home;
  • Integrating a learning management system, which provides a central platform for videos, articles, quizzes, discussion boards, and more;
  • Adding simulation, such as mannequins or computer-based training exercises, to the curriculum to aid exposure to uncommon situations; and
  • Appointing a champion of instructional technology who can keep abreast of new digital resources.

A 2018 article in Academic Psychiatry9 identified a number of systematic literature reviews that discussed technology-associated educational modalities, including e-learning, multimedia, virtual patient/simulators, audience response systems, mobile devices, and social media. Several of the reviews found significant improvements in resident education when various components of digital learning were involved. For example, web-based learning that uses self-assessments and real-time feedback fare better with user satisfaction and outcomes.10-12 Further, access to videos, self-assessments, podcasts, lecture slides, and more on a digital platform has the ability to allow educators to lead discussions and maximize understanding as a supplement instead of a regurgitation of textbook information.8,13 In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology offers comprehensive curriculum of online modules on evidence-based recommendations that dermatology educators can share with their students and residents.14

Bridging the “learning style” gap with younger students may be even easier to do by mastering social media as well. Social networks allow users to share medical information and exchange advice, enhancing learning through discussions with a similar community.8 A recent survey of residents and faculty found a shared high level of interest in a dermatology professional networking site.15 It should be noted that this same survey found that responding residents were twice as likely to find online educational materials as essential to their study routines than their faculty counterparts.

As for individual social platforms, Twitter and blogs are frequently used for dialogue, but YouTube and wikis are more appropriate for improving technical skills and promoting self-efficacy.16 Notably, Learn Derm Podcast by Pearl Podcasting LLC shares fun questions and tips on Instagram, the popular photo sharing network.17 However, further study is needed to understand the role of social media in dermatology education, as a systematic review found mixed results on its effectiveness.16

For the Next Generation of Derms
"Regardless of multimedia’s expansion as educational resources, there are obvious aspects of training that simply can never be replaced. 

For example, Dr Kolb recommended that residents grow their confidence with the so-called “mundane” dermatology topics most commonly seen in the office. “Focusing on and becoming comfortable with the ‘bread-and-butter’ dermatology topics is important,” he explained, “because 80 to 90 percent of cases fall within those diagnoses every day.” 

Additionally, Dr Kolb suggested residents and students find a mentor to work with and guide through their education. This person can help up-and-comers navigate a career path, network with other professionals, or even provide insight on a strange dermatologic presentation. He credits his program director Dr Krishnamurthy for supporting him by connecting him with other dermatologists such as Dr Gropper for an interview as well as for vetting the content and adding clinical pearls that come only with experience. Dr Kolb also credits Collin Blattner, DO, for getting him involved in research as a medical student. Research and subsequent publication, as seasoned veterans know, can make or break a career sometimes, but it can also open up new possibilities and spark an interest for more learning (and, possibly, more podcast episodes).

No matter the method of learning—lectures, journal articles, podcast, social networks, or another form of media yet to be determined—patient outcomes can only improve when dermatologists have more access to education.

1. Frieling G. Maintaing a healthy work-life balance. The Dermatologist. 2020;28(2):47-48.

2. Koo J. Successfully managing delusions of parasitosis, LSC, prurigo, nodularis. Accessed February 10, 2020.

3. Koo J. Successfully managing delusions of parasitosis, LSC, prurigo, nodularis. Presented at: SDPA Annual Summer Dermatology Conference 2014; May 29-June 1, 2014; Indianapolis, IN.

4. Kolb L. Learn Derm Podcast by Pearl Podcasting LLC. Updated February 25, 2020. Accessed February 26, 2020.

5. Gropper CA. An approach to clinical dermatologic diagnosis based on morphologic reaction patterns. Clin Cornerstone. 2001;4(1):1-14. doi:10.1016/s1098-3597(01)90002-x

6. Kolb L. Ep4 PSQ (papulosquamous) – psoriasis I. Uploaded June 25, 2019. Accessed February 26, 2020.

7. Kolb L. Ep21 VASC – erythema multiforme. Uploaded January 28, 2020. Accessed February 26, 2020.

8. Toohey SL, Wray A, Wiechmann W, Lin M, Boysen-Osborn M. Ten tips for engaging the millennial learner and moving an emergency medicine residency curriculum into the 21st century. West J Emerg Med. 2016;17(3):337-343. doi:10.5811/westjem.2016.3.29863

9. Moran J, Briscoe G, Peglow S. Current technology in advancing medical education: perspectives for learning and providing care. Acad Psychiatry. 2018;42:796-799.

10. Wong G, Greenhalgh T, Pawson R. Internet-based medical education: a realist review of what works, for whom and in what circumstances. BMC Med Educ. 2010;10:12. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-12

11. Maertens H, Madan A, Landry T, Vermassen F, van Herzeele I, Aggarwal R. Systematic review of e-learning for surgical training. Br J Surg. 2016;103(11):1428-1437. doi:10.1002/bjs.10236

12. Tarpada SP, Morris MT, Burton DA. E-learning in orthopedic surgery training: a systematic review. J Orthop. 2016;13(4):425-430.

13. Dong C, Goh PS. Twelve tips for the effective use of videos in medical education. Med Teach. 2015;37(2):140-145. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2014.943709

14. Basic dermatology curriculum. American Academy of Dermatology website. Accessed February 22, 2020.

15. Meeks NM, McGuire AL, Carroll BT. Electronic collaboration in dermatology resident training through social networking. Cutis. 2017;99(4):253-258.

16. Sterling M, Leung P, Wright D, Bishop T. The use of social media in graduate medical education: a systematic review. Acad Med. 2017;92(7):1043-1056. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000001617

17. Learn Derm Podcast by Pearl Podcasting LLC. Instagram. Updated March 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the name of the podcast as "Learn Derm" on several occasions. This is a trademarked name by Visual Dx. The current version has updated the name to state "Learn Derm Podcast" or "the podcast" following the first mention of "Learn Derm Podcast by Pearl Podcasting LLC." Updated March 11, 2020. 

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