Background: Surgical reconstructive planning following Mohs surgery can be a difficult subject for dermatology residents to master. Prior research demonstrates that active learning is preferred and more effective compared to passive learning models and that dermatology residents desire greater complexity and volume in surgical training. We present a novel, active, problem-based learning tool for the education of Mohs reconstruction with the goal of improving residents' ability to plan surgical reconstructions.
Materials and methods: The Mohs Surgical Reconstruction Educational Activity is an active, problem-based learning activity in which residents designed repairs for planned Mohs defects prior to surgery on an iPad application or on a printed photograph. The attending Mohs surgeon reviewed the reconstructive designs, provided feedback, guided discussion, and facilitated insight into additional issues requiring further review. Residents performed or observed the Mohs and reconstructive surgical procedures for respective repairs. Surveys were administered to participants before and after participating in the Mohs Surgical Reconstruction Educational Activity to assess the educational value of the activity. Survey responses were recorded on a 5-point Likert scale.
Results: Mean participant-reported confidence in flap and graft knowledge, flap and graft planning, and flap and graft performance increased 1.50-2.50 Likert scale points upon completion of the Mohs surgery rotation by residents participating in the educational activity. The observed trend was larger in the dermatology resident subset, with increases of 2.00-3.50 Likert scale points reported for these questions. Mean participant-reported likelihoods of performing flaps and grafts in the future increased 0.25-0.50 Likert scale points among all residents participating in the educational activity and 0.50-1.00 Likert scale points in the dermatology resident subset. All residents participating in the educational activity somewhat or completely agreed with the statement, "I am faster at planning reconstructions after my Mohs rotation." In addition, 88% of participants "somewhat or completely agreed" that the exercise was a good educational experience.
Conclusion: The Mohs Surgical Reconstruction Educational Activity is a valuable novel tool for learning reconstructive planning that is easy to incorporate into existing dermatology residency curricula, inexpensive, and utilizes active learning.
Keywords: Mohs surgery; dermatologic surgery; flaps; grafts; resident education.