A Cross-Sectional Survey of Students and Instructors on Virtual Dermatology Teaching in a Competency-based Format

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Shara Chopra
Ankita Sinharoy
Alexandra Flamm


Medical education, COVID-19, Virtual curriculum, Dermatology education



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020, the dermatology rotation at the Penn State College of Medicine was converted into a 4-week virtual format. Given these rapid changes, we aimed to assess student and instructor satisfaction to the virtual course and if the course fulfilled the six ACGME core-competencies for medical student education required in a traditional teaching format.



We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess PSCOM student and instructor satisfaction to the elective. Surveys specifically inquired about course learning objectives, interaction, and teaching in the virtual setting based on a 5-point Likert scale and asked to provide qualitative feedback.



Medical students (n=15, response rate=52%) were satisfied with learning objectives geared towards the ACGME core competencies in five of the six competencies. Instructors (n=7, response rate=58%) reported satisfaction with convenience, university support, and technical training, but less with student-to-student interaction, gauging comprehension, and fostering critical thinking. Qualitative feedback reflected these results.



From our survey data, students and instructors were generally satisfied with the virtual rotation’s dermatology teaching during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic and holds potential to expand dermatology education, with a future focus on improving student engagement in a virtual format.


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