Background The authors investigated the use of simulator platforms in fourth-year medical student education. Objective To evaluate which simulation platform students preferred for learning dermatologic procedures and to assess the effectiveness of the exercise in terms of the change in confidence that the students had performing dermatologic procedures. Materials and Methods After medical students were instructed on how to perform a punch biopsy and then assisted in executing the task, they were surveyed to determine their preferred simulation platform and simulator properties. Students were surveyed at the beginning and completion of the teaching block. Results One hundred fifty-seven students completed the skills laboratory, and 78 completed the preference questionnaire. Of the 11 surveyed categories, students preferred the pig foot in eight categories. Seventy students responded to a surgical skills questionnaire that assessed their overall confidence in planning and executing the procedure before and after the skills laboratory. The students had a statistically significant increase in confidence in dermatologic procedural skills as a result of the activity. Conclusion Preference data show that the pig foot model is preferred for teaching dermatologic surgical skills. These results re-affirm that the pig foot model is an effective, low-cost solution for training.
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