Teaching Dermatology to Canadian Undergraduate Medical Students
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BACKGROUND: The Canadian dermatology undergraduate curriculum was reviewed in 1983, 1987, and 1996. All surveys revealed the limited amount of time dedicated to dermatology in the undergraduate curriculum. OBJECTIVE: This survey was designed to obtain current information regarding undergraduate dermatology teaching in Canadian medical schools. METHODS: A survey was sent electronically to all undergraduate dermatology curriculum coordinators at each of the 17 Canadian medical schools. RESULTS: Between 1996 and 2008, the average number of hours of dermatology teaching has increased by 7 hours to 20.5 ± 17.2 hours. Again, most of the teaching is performed in the preclinical years. The majority of schools would like to have more time dedicated to dermatology teaching; however, many schools cited a restriction in the number of dermatology faculty members, with an average of 7.8 ± 7 dermatologists, as a barrier to education delivery. CONCLUSION: It is important to have dermatology included throughout the undergraduate medical curriculum because most dermatologic problems are seen by nondermatologists. Respondents at each school believed that there may be value in moving toward a national strategy for dermatology curriculum changes, and this can ensure both uniformity and consistency within Canada.
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