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March 14, 2018 / molehunter

Feedback from South Coast Dermoscopy course

We haven’t done the full feedback analysis yet, but here was this unsolicited email from a participant (see below). I include this not so much as a ‘boast post’ but to illustrate that our integrated skin lesion recognition and dermoscopy course tries very much to familiarise learners with the appearance of  harmless skin lesions. This is very deliberate, since nearly all the moles people ever ask their GP to look at are going to be harmless. Yet every day in clinic I see patients with (to me) obviously harmless skin lesions who have been needlessly sent on an urgent cancer pathway and are in a panicky state as they are afraid they may have a dangerous tumour. That’s one of the things I love most about dermoscopy-the power to reassure. There is no getting away from the reality of melanoma-which kills 6 or 7 people a day in Britain-a certain amount of fear is appropriate, same as with children and road safety. Good GP dermoscopy skills can relieve fears, which is human and compassionate,  and also more efficient in terms of optimum health care resource management.

I teach that doctors need to get skilled, confident and safe to determine a mole is harmless, then don’t just say so but explain why, and use the consultation to advise about sun protection and the signs of a dangerous mole. At the same time, it’s vital not to miss a melanoma, so we also post LOADS of cases of melanoma. The memory drive and on line case discussions over 12 weeks further reinforce such lessons.

Next year, we are thinking about altering the course, maybe running it as a one day course twice a year, as I had to turn a lot of learners away since they couldn’t make the 2 half days. If any previous learners have any views on this, please comment. The USB stick and 12 week on-line tuition will remain.

PS a prospectus and booking details of our International Dermoscopy Refresher and Update day conference on Wednesday 28th November will appear here soon. It will be at Holiday Inn Fareham as usual and will feature Professor Luc Thomas, acclaimed world expert from Lyons, France presenting on foot tumours and perhaps some of his many international research publications as well as reports from the 5th world dermoscopy congress to be held in Greece this June, plus other goodies. This course will not be for beginners but should delight those with some experience and prior learning in dermoscopy who want to refresh and update.

Hi Stephen

Just a note to express my appreciation of the course on Friday
Well organised and well presented it was all I anticipated. The usb stick is a particularly good resource.
The email cases are also stimulating.
Surprisingly perhaps I found the parts on non malignant lesions most helpful. It’s only natural that as specialists you spend you energies on melanoma but as a gp I see mostly benign lesions with only 2-3 melanomas per year on the practice population so I found the positive identifying features of benign lesions to be helpful rather than my usual practice of simply excluding sinister features.
Best wishes
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