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Objective: To compared pattern recognition abilities of final-year medical students and dermatology residents to distinguish and classify superficial fungal infections and resembling lesions.
Methods: The study was conducted at the Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, in 2019. The participants had to make diagnosis from 78 images including typical and atypical lesions within 50 second. No history or any description was given. The answer sheets were reviewed.
Results: Medical students (n = 18) and dermatology residents (n = 19) showed no significant differences in the means of overall accuracy scores. Residents demonstrated a statistically higher mean score than the medical students in diagnoses of anthropophilic infection with mostly presented with typical lesion. However, there were no significant differences in the mean scores for their diagnoses of zoophilic dermatophytosis as atypical lesions and other skin lesions.
Conclusion: Pattern recognition was helpful for the diagnosis of cutaneous dermatophytosis, especially in cases of typical lesions. Nonetheless, pattern recognition alone is insufficient for the diagnosis of atypical dermatophytosis lesions: analytical diagnostic skills should also be enhanced to an increase in the accuracies of atypical-lesion diagnoses.
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