The Use of a Fresh-Tissue Cadaver Model for the Instruction of Dermatological Procedures: A Laboratory Study for Training Medical Students

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A realistic model for the instruction of basic dermatologic procedural skills was developed, while simultaneously increasing medical student exposure to the field of dermatology.


The primary purpose of the authors' study was to evaluate the utilization of a fresh-tissue cadaver model (FTCM) as a method for the instruction of common dermatologic procedures. The authors' secondary aim was to assess students' perceived clinical skills and overall perception of the field of dermatology after the lab.


Nineteen first- and second-year medical students were pre- and post-tested on their ability to perform punch and excisional biopsies on a fresh-tissue cadaver. Students were then surveyed on their experience.


Assessment of the cognitive knowledge gain and technical skills revealed a statistically significant improvement in all categories (p < .001). An analysis of the survey demonstrated that 78.9% were more interested in selecting dermatology as a career and 63.2% of participants were more likely to refer their future patients to a Mohs surgeon.


An FTCM is a viable method for the instruction and training of dermatologic procedures. In addition, the authors conclude that an FTCM provides realistic instruction for common dermatologic procedures and enhances medical students' early exposure and interest in the field of dermatology.

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