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Identifying Competencies in Vulvar Disorder Management for Medical Students and Residents: A Survey of US Vulvar Disorder Experts

Venkatesan, Aruna MD1; Farsani, Taraneh MD2; O’Sullivan, Patricia EdD3; Berger, Tim MD4

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: October 2012 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 - p 398–402
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e318245152b
Original Articles

Objective The study aimed to perform a content validation process by surveying vulvar disorder experts to identify evidence-based competencies appropriate for use in developing vulvar curricula for medical trainees.

Materials and Methods We identified 65 potential vulvar disorder competencies from literature review and expert opinions. Survey participants rated these competencies from 1 (not at all important) to 4 (highly important) in the training of 3 different groups of learners as follows: medical students, obstetrics and gynecology residents, and dermatology residents. We administered the survey to all US-based clinical members of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease as of September 2008 (n = 90). The content validity index and asymmetric CI were calculated for each curricular competency for each group of learners separately and used to identify competencies for use in curricula development.

Results Forty-seven surveys were returned, yielding a response rate of 52.2%. Obstetrician-gynecologists represented 66% of the study sample, followed by dermatologists (15%), and nurse practitioners (9%). Seventy-nine percent of experts received their training by self-teaching, which included mentored experiences (62%) and attending conferences or courses (62%). Only 19% received vulvar training during residency and 11% during fellowship. Four curricular competencies met content validity criteria for medical students, 60 competencies for obstetrics and gynecology residents, and 47 competencies for dermatology residents. The differences between the 2 groups of residents focused on vulvovaginal pain and infection, examination, and procedures of the vagina.

Conclusions The competencies identified in this study can aid in the development of targeted curricula for medical students, obstetrics and gynecology residents, and dermatology residents.

The competencies identified in this validation study can aid in developing vulvar curricula for medical students, obstetrics and gynecology residents, and dermatology residents.

1Department of Dermatology, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Redwood City, CA; 2Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; 3Department of Medicine and Office of Medical Education, and 4Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Correspondence to: Aruna Venkatesan, MD, Dermatology Clinic, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, 450 Broadway Street, Pavilion C, Redwood City, CA 94063. E-mail:

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

©2012The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology