A detailed analysis of the results of the international annual International Committee for Dermatopathology–Union Européene des Médecins Specialistes dermatopathology examination was undertaken to identify clues for further improvement. The analysis covered 5 consecutive years (2006–2010) and involved a total of 860 questions (591 common questions and 269 uncommon questions) and 181 participants. It focused on the overall performance of the participants, the performance per part of the examination (theoretical or practical), the performance per format of question (multiple choice or open), the performance per dermatopathological topic, and the performance per professional background (dermatologist or pathologist). The overall performance of the participants was high (on average 75% correct answers in 2006 and 85% correct answers in the subsequent years). In the theoretical part of the examination, the topics of vascular diseases and lichenoid dermatoses scored better than the average of all topics, and the topics of cutaneous lymphoproliferative diseases and melanocytic disorders scored worse. In the first practical part (interpretation of images), dermatologists outperformed pathologists, especially on providing a diagnosis (open question format) of clinical images. In the second practical part (microscopical examination), the topics of vascular diseases, granulomatous diseases, including necrobiotic and degenerative and metabolic diseases scored better than the average of all topics, and the topic of infectious diseases scored worse. The results of this detailed analysis provide an excellent feedback to the examination committee that will be used to consider the adjustment of parts and/or topics of the examination that showed a deviant performance by the participants. In addition, it is recommended to give more attention to the postgraduate education of certain dermatopathological topics, including cutaneous lymphoproliferative diseases, melanocytic disorders, and infectious diseases.
*Department of Anatomy, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
†Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
‡Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Health Technology Assessment, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
§Dermatopathologisches Gemeinschaftslabor, Friedrichshafen, Germany
¶Departments of Pathology and Dermatology, Wake Forrest University Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC
‖Department of Pathology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
**Institute of Pathology, Royal Hospitals Trust, Belfast, Ulster, United Kingdom.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Reprints: Dirk Ruiter, MD, 109 Department of Anatomy and Pathology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).