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Content Objective: Rash/Skin Disorders

By the end of the Family Medicine Clerkship, the medical student will be able to:

  1. Conduct a focused history for a patient presenting with a skin concern including:
    1. areas of involvement
    2. timeline
    3. associated features (e.g. pruritis, pain, fever)
    4. travel, medications, exposures
    5. recent/concurrent illnesses
  2. Conduct a focused physical exam based on the presenting skin concern. (e.g. oral examination for patient with palm and sole lesions; joint and nail exam in patient with plaques on scalp.)
  3. Describe skin lesion(s) using appropriate terminology (e.g. macule/patch, papule/plaque, vesicle, bulla, erythematous, ulcer, etc.)
  4. Apply the ABCDE’s (Asymmetry, Borders, Colour, Diameter, Evolving over time) to identify malignant melanoma.
  5. Recognize and propose initial management for the following conditions:
    • Atopic dermatitis/contact dermatitis
    • Psoriasis
    • Acne
    • Infectious causes
      • Viral (exanthems, herpes, shingles, molluscum contagiosum, warts)
      • Bacterial (impetigo, cellulitis)
      • Fungal (tinea, candidal dermatitis)
    • Drug-induced reactions
    • Drug eruptions
    • Anaphylaxis/hives
  6. List the indications for biopsy and/or referral (e.g. treatment failure, uncertain diagnosis, possible malignancy).
  7. Counsel patients on sun safety.
  8. Identify risks of long-term topical steroid use.

Mandatory Clinical Encounter

  • None

* Where a specific resource is not listed for a particular objective, please refer to recommended general texts/websites. Resources have often been selected from the Clinical Practice Guidelines and Protocols in British Columbia and Alberta’s Towards Optimized Practice Clinical Practice Guidelines. These are often concise summaries of national guidelines.