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Computer-Based Video Instruction for Training Medical Students on Skin Biopsies

Cervantes, Jose, MD*; Costello, Collin M., MD; Maarouf, Melody, MHS; Kurtzman, Drew J.B., MD; Shi, Vivian Y., MD

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001670
Original Article

BACKGROUND The development of procedural skills is necessary for medical students. Computer-based video instruction (CBVI) increases knowledge and procedural skills.

OBJECTIVE This pilot study's aim was to investigate the usefulness of CBVI in dermatologic procedure training for medical students and secondarily assess students' overall perception of the field of dermatology.

METHODS Twenty-nine first- and second-year medical students were randomly assigned to the CVBI group or control group, in addition to in-person instructor demonstration of shave and punch biopsies using fresh cadaver tissue. Blinded evaluators graded student performances using a five-point Likert scale immediately after demonstration, and 1 week later to assess knowledge retention.

RESULTS In overall performance, the CBVI group demonstrated higher scores both in shave (3.54 vs 2.59, p = .01) and punch biopsies (3.63 vs 2.88, p = .01) at immediate recall and knowledge retention (3.68 vs 2.67, p = .01; 4.00 vs 2.99, p < .001, respectively). Approximately 33.3% of the students stated that the experience increased their interest in the field of dermatology.

CONCLUSION Incorporation of CBVI into the dermatology curriculum augments medical students' procedural skills. The CBVI group performed significantly better in all 7 grading categories for shave biopsy and in 5 of 7 categories for punch biopsy. Integration of procedural laboratory tests raises students' interest in dermatology.

*Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Dell Medical School, University of Texas, Austin, Texas;

Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Vivian Y. Shi, MD, Dermatology Division, Arizona Cancer Center, 1515 N Campbell Avenue, PO Box 245024, Building #222, Levy Building, 1906E Tucson, AZ 85724-5024, or e-mail:

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Contributing Authors: A. Krajišnik, L. LePoidevin, and J. Chao.

© 2019 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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