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Training Level

Resident PGY 3


Henry Ford Hospital


Prior to graduation, dermatology residents are expected to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of surgical and cosmetic procedures as outlined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). In a 2009 survey, only 55% of dermatology residents expressed satisfaction with their procedural training, which suggests that classical methods alone may be inadequate. In 2016, 69% of program directors reported use of simulation models with 34.5% utilizing human cadavers, which demonstrates a dramatic acceptance of this utile teaching modality. At Henry Ford, all residents complete an annual cadaveric course taught by two-board certified Mohs surgeons. It consists of a one-hour lecture followed by an intensive half-day simulation of flaps, grafts, nail procedures, and soft tissue fillers. Senior residents perform facial prosection the day prior and identify important anatomical structures which are then taught to junior colleagues during the session. As a part of the 2016 cadaver course, residents were asked to complete pre- and post-session surveys on a scale from 1 to 5 (where 1 is “uncomfortable” and 5 is “comfortable”) to assess their comfort with procedures. The survey data demonstrated that self-assessed proficiency with flaps and grafts improved by an average of two points for each resident class and familiarity with nail procedures and fillers was similarly augmented in all training years. While cadaveric dissection has been integral to improving surgical knowledge in the field of dermatology for decades, education via cadaveric simulation is not universally available to dermatology residents. Practical education at the bedside is valuable; however, cadaveric simulation allows ample time for exploration of anatomy and exposure to sophisticated techniques in a low-stress environment.

Presentation Date


The Role of Cadavers in Resident Education