Melanoma trainer using simulated back skin

Caitlin A. MacGregor*, Mary K. O'Donnell, Ann Cameron Haley, Mary Martini, June K. Robinson, John A. Vozenilek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: The method used to create a melanoma trainer using simulated back skin is presented. The trainer is intended to be used to teach medical students to identify benign and malignant cutaneous pigmented lesions. Methods: Non-Hispanic and Hispanic white melanoma trainers were created using flexible polyurethane foam and pigmented silicone rubber. The models were reviewed by board-certified dermatologists and dermatology residents to determine the reliability and fidelity of the models. Results: The models were deemed an accurate representation of the skin of human backs containing multiple normal nevi and clinically suspicious pigmented lesions, which were melanomas. Among 33 dermatologists and dermatology residents, there was good reliability for all clinically suspicious lesions (J = 0.64), excellent reliability for melanomas (J = 0.97), and excellent reliability for selecting melanomas for biopsy (J = 0.96). Reliability in selecting lesions to monitor for change varied depending on the physicians preference to perform biopsy on all melanomas and follow all other clinically suspicious lesions (J = 0.86) or to perform biopsy on all melanomas and 1 other abnormal nevus and monitor all other abnormal lesions (J = 0.61). Conclusions: The melanoma trainer using simulated back skin is a reliable model that can be stored and used frequently over a long period. The trainer will allow students to assess a range of pigmented lesions that would not be found on 1 patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-254
Number of pages4
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Dermatology training
  • Melanoma
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Modeling and Simulation


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