Learning dermatology

S M Burge
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 2004, 29 (3): 337-40
Students should be involved in curriculum planning and encouraged to formulate their own learning outcomes. Adult learners appreciate opportunities to learn from real or simulated experiences that are applicable to real-life situations. Contact with patients is essential to help students to develop empathy and communication skills and patients with chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis can make an active contribution to the education of students. Students learning dermatology use both pattern- recognition and analytical processes, but pattern recognition develops only with repetition and it is not realistic to expect students to acquire many diagnostic skills. Instead teachers should provide students with a framework that will enable them to analyse skin conditions, to understand the relevance of what is taught and to apply their learning in the future. All medical graduates should be able to describe the skin and record their findings each time they clerk a patient.

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