Current Curriculum on Reflectance Confocal Microscopy: a national survey of dermatology faculty and residents

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Jonathan Matthew Soh
Alice P Pentland


Reflectance confocal microscopy, resident curriculum, survey



Characterize Reflectance confocal microscopy’s use and curriculum in residency programs.



Observational nine-question survey sent to the Association of Dermatology Professors (APD).



Seventy responses were collected with a faculty response rate of 6.6% (29/439).  Fifty-four percent of responses indicated RCM is not taught or learned in a meaningful capacity.  If RCM is included within curriculum, teaching occurs on average <1-3 times/week versus conventional dermatopathology which is taught on average 1-3 times/week.  Nearly fifty percent of responses indicated that RCM is regularly used by faculty.  However, seventy percent of respondents did not know if RCM was reimbursable within the practice area.  Forty-six percent of respondents saw a need to incorporate RCM into residency curriculum.



This national survey is one of the first to characterize RCM’s current integration into residency education.  The results suggest that despite a lack of formalized training, there is cautious optimism towards the modality’s usage in dermatologic practice. Given the low faculty response rate, we are cautious to generalize to the greater academic population at this time.  Our hope is that this and future studies can survey the need for a standardized RCM curriculum.


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