Study Finds Too Few Resident Physicians Have Skills to Detect Melanoma

Medical researchers have found that many resident physicians have not been properly trained in skin cancer examinations. According to a news report in Health Day, researchers surveyed 342 resident physicians in family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine. Information was collected about the physicians’ training and experience with melanoma exams as a well their level of skill and expertise in performing these skin cancer examinations.

Researchers found that training for skin cancer examination during residency was inadequate. In fact, this survey determined that 75.8 percent of residents were never trained in skin cancer examination and only 15.9 percent said they were skilled in conducting these types of exams.

Melanoma is the second most common cancer in Americans aged 15 to 29, and, 25 percent of melanomas are detected by doctors rather than patients. In addition, the study stated that skin cancers discovered by doctors are generally thinner and, as a result, have a better prognosis for cure. These statistics illustrate how important it is that doctors be properly trained in detecting these cancers and pre-cancerous conditions. This is extremely important when it comes to melanoma, which if not diagnosed until a later stage, is a potentially fatal skin malignancy.

It is, therefore, especially important that internists and family practitioners be in a position to accurately screen patients for melanoma. Physicians who are currently in training (in medical school or a residency program) who do not learn this skill, are less likely to ever become proficient at melanoma evaluations.

If you believe you or a loved one’s skin cancer was misdiagnosed or not timely diagnosed, contact the experienced attorneys at Blume Forte for a no-cost consultation. Our attorneys have successfully handled numerous cases pertaining to failure to timely diagnose and treat various cancers. Call us at 973-635-5400.

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