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Correspondence |

Teaching Dermatology Using 3-Dimensional Virtual Reality

Roger Benjamin Aldridge, MBChB, MRCS, MRCP; Xiang Li, MSc; Lucia Ballerini, PhD; Robert B. Fisher, FIAPR, PhD; Jonathan L. Rees, FRCP, FMedSci
Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(10):1184-1185. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.294.
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We read with great interest the article by Garg et al1 in the February issue of the Archives, in which the authors demonstrate that a medical student teaching program using 3-dimensional (3D) silicon prosthetics leads to both initially better diagnostic recognition rates and improved knowledge retention compared with traditional 2-dimensional photographic methods. Improving medical student dermatologic teaching is essential; dermatology is currently underrepresented in most curricula, and this is likely one of the major reasons why primary care physicians have reported poor diagnostic accuracy for common skin diseases.2 Garg et al1 describe a useful method of improving medical school education; we would like to suggest another more modern technology that might rival and supplant traditional moulages.

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Two screenshots from the same 3-dimensional (3D) virtual reality computer-generated model of a squamous cell carcinoma of the right cheek. A and B, Note the additional depth perspective and the variability in viewing angles that these models hold over traditional photography. By definition, our 3D models of skin lesions are highly interactive, and so these 2-dimensional images are unable to illustrate the full functionality of the educational software.

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