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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 85  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 380--387

Do primary care physicians require training in core clinical dermatology? A cross sectional needs assessment study from Western India

1 Department of Skin and VD, GMERS Medical College, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Paragkumar D Chavda
Department of Community Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Gotri, Vadodara, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_250_18

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Background: Primary care physicians play a crucial role in managing patients with common skin disorders who form around one-third of outpatient attendees. Aim: This study aimed to assess the need for dermatology training among primary care physicians by assessing their knowledge, self-perception of ability to diagnose and manage skin disorders, and their difficulties in managing these patients. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional, needs assessment study was done among primary care physicians (n = 61) of rural (n = 34) and urban (n = 27) areas of Vadodara district. A pre-validated semi-structured questionnaire (for self-rating of the ability to diagnose/manage skin disorders and difficulties faced in managing patients) was used along with a photo-quiz (for knowledge assessment) while approaching primary care physicians during their monthly review meeting with prior permission. Data were analyzed by Epi InfoTM software and manual content analysis. Results: The mean score on the photo-quiz was 4.1/10. Forty-three (70.5%) participants rated their ability to diagnose/manage skin disorders as 'average' on a five-point Likert scale. Various difficulties (n = 89) narrated by participants were related to their knowledge/skill, disease factors, patients and administrative aspects. Three-fourths of the participants managed difficulties by referring patients to dermatologists. One-third suggested conducting training in common skin disorders. Limitations: The study population included primary care physicians from the government healthcare setup only. Knowledge assessment was done using a short ten-item photo-quiz instead of actual patients. Conclusions: Primary care physicians had poor knowledge of skin disorders, and a majority overrated their own ability for clinical management of these disorders. Most common difficulties faced were related to clinical management. There is a need for training on common skin disorders.


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