To evaluate the effectiveness of a teaching method that uses 3-dimensional (3D) silicone-based prosthetic mimics of common serious lesions and eruptions and to compare learning outcomes with those achieved through the conventional method of lectures with 2-dimensional (2D) images.
Prospective and comparative.
University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Ninety second-year medical students.
A 1-hour teaching intervention using a lecture with 2D images (2D group) or using 3D prosthetic mimics of lesions and eruptions (3D group).
Main Outcome Measures
Mean scores in the domains of morphology, lesion and rash recognition, lesion and rash management, and overall performance assessed at baseline, immediately after, and 3 months after each group's respective teaching intervention.
Immediately after the teaching intervention, the 3D group had significantly higher mean percentage scores than did the 2D group for overall performance (71 vs 65, P = .03), lesion recognition (65 vs 56, P = .02), and rash management (80 vs 67, P = .01). Three months later, the 3D group still had significantly higher mean percentage scores than did the 2D group for lesion recognition (47 vs 40, P = .03). The 3D group better recognized lesions at 3 months compared with at baseline, whereas the 2D group was no better at recognizing lesions at 3 months compared with at baseline.
Despite limited curricular time, the novel teaching method using 3D prosthetic mimics of lesions and eruptions improves immediate and long-term learning outcomes, in particular, lesion recognition. It is also a preferred teaching format among second-year medical students.