Dermatology residents' perspectives on virtual dermatopathology education

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Cutaneous Pathology


Background: Dermatopathology education accounts for 30% of U.S. dermatology residency training. The COVID-19 pandemic expedited the implementation of virtual dermatopathology in place of traditional microscopy for resident education. This study examined U.S. dermatology residents' perceptions of virtual dermatopathology, as research in this area is lacking. Methods: An anonymous, confidential, institutional review board-approved survey was electronically distributed to U.S. dermatology residents consisting of 16 questions comparing attitudes towards virtual and traditional dermatopathology education. Responses were n = 59. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS software. Results: Participants believe virtual imaging is superior to conventional microscopy in schedule flexibility (96.6% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.0001), lecture convenience (94.8% vs. 0.0%, p < 0.0001), personal review (96.6% vs. 0.0%, p < 0.0001), cost-effectiveness (64.4% vs. 6.8%, p < 0.0001), and board exam preparation (52.5% vs. 16.9%, p = 0.0005). Conventional microscopy was favored for image quality (50.8% vs. 25.4%, p = 0.0127) and overall utility (50.8% vs. 27.1%, p = 0.0195). Conclusions: Our study supports virtual dermatopathology utilization as a valuable tool in dermatology residency training. Also it is shown that conventional microscopy training continues to play a key role. Further studies should examine whether, if ever, virtual dermatopathology could gradually replace conventional microscopy with the advent of newer and more powerful digital and scanning technology.

PubMed ID


This document is currently not available here.