Melanoma opportunistic surveillance by physician assistant and medical students: Analysis of a novel educational trainer

Ann Cameron Haley, Michael Maclean*, Jennifer Bierman, Mary C. Martini, John Vozenilek, Mary J. Kwasny, William C. McGaghie, June K. Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The objective was to identify first-year physician assistant (PA) students' and thirdyear medical students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about melanoma and to assess an educational intervention. Methods: Thirty first-year PA students and 29 third-year medical students (M3) at Northwestern University completed a questionnaire on participants' views of barriers and facilitators to performing melanoma screening. The students were given a pretest with a melanoma education model trainer to identify suspicious lesions, and following an educational intervention, students were given a posttest model trainer assessment. Results: Apart from time constraints (87% PA; 79% M3) and comorbidities (53% PA; 57% M3), lack of training was a frequently reported barrier to performing opportunistic surveillance (27% PA; 31% M3). Commonly reported facilitators included identification of patients at high risk for developing melanoma (60% PA; 69% M3) and skin-examination training to recognize melanoma (67% PA; 55% M3). With the melanoma trainer pretest, 35% of PA students and 27% of M3 students identified all of the melanomas (P=.61). Following educational intervention, 67% of PA students and 10% of M3 students identified all of the melanomas (P<.01). PA student identification of melanoma significantly increased from pretest to posttest (P=.035), while M3 decreased, but not appreciably (P=.063). Conclusions: Education in melanoma detection may enhance the students' cognitive and technical skills necessary to perform accurate opportunistic surveillance. Although PA and medical students reported the same significant barriers and facilitators to performing skin exams, there was a difference in implementation of skills and in the management decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medical Assisting and Transcription

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Melanoma opportunistic surveillance by physician assistant and medical students: Analysis of a novel educational trainer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this