About Half of Dermatologists in U.S. Employ Dermatoscopy

Use of the technique associated with younger age, involvement in resident teaching

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- About half of U.S. dermatologists use dermatoscopy, and they tend to be younger, involved in resident teaching, or trained in dermatoscopy, according to the results of a survey published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Holly C. Engasser, of the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Erin M. Warshaw, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, sent surveys regarding use of dermatoscopy to 8,501 U.S. fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Among the 3,238 respondents, 48 percent said they used dermatoscopy. The researchers found that use of dermatoscopy was associated with age under 50 years, being female, practice location in the Northeast, involvement in resident teaching, and having received dermatoscopy training. The leading reasons cited for not using dermatoscopy were lack of training (39.7 percent), lack of interest (32.5 percent), time required for dermatoscopic patient exams (27.6 percent), and belief dermatoscopy would not have an effect on clinical decisions (15.2 percent).

"It is important for our medical specialty to not only continue to provide learning opportunities for our members but also support colleagues on the steep part of the dermatoscopy learning curve," the authors conclude.

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