Modern moulage: evaluating the use of 3-dimensional prosthetic mimics in a dermatology teaching program for second-year medical students

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Clinical Competence; Cohort Studies; Curriculum; Dermatology; Diagnosis, Differential; Education, Medical, Undergraduate; Humans; *Models, Anatomic; Program Evaluation; *Prostheses and Implants; Skin Diseases


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dermatology | Medical Education | Preventive Medicine | Primary Care


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of a teaching method that uses 3-dimensional (3D) silicone-based prosthetic mimics of common serious lesions and eruptions and to compare learning outcomes with those achieved through the conventional method of lectures with 2-dimensional (2D) images.

DESIGN: Prospective and comparative.

SETTING: University of Massachusetts Medical School.

PARTICIPANTS: Ninety second-year medical students.

INTERVENTION: A 1-hour teaching intervention using a lecture with 2D images (2D group) or using 3D prosthetic mimics of lesions and eruptions (3D group).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean scores in the domains of morphology, lesion and rash recognition, lesion and rash management, and overall performance assessed at baseline, immediately after, and 3 months after each group's respective teaching intervention.

RESULTS: Immediately after the teaching intervention, the 3D group had significantly higher mean percentage scores than did the 2D group for overall performance (71 vs 65, P = .03), lesion recognition (65 vs 56, P = .02), and rash management (80 vs 67, P = .01). Three months later, the 3D group still had significantly higher mean percentage scores than did the 2D group for lesion recognition (47 vs 40, P = .03). The 3D group better recognized lesions at 3 months compared with at baseline, whereas the 2D group was no better at recognizing lesions at 3 months compared with at baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite limited curricular time, the novel teaching method using 3D prosthetic mimics of lesions and eruptions improves immediate and long-term learning outcomes, in particular, lesion recognition. It is also a preferred teaching format among second-year medical students.

DOI of Published Version



Arch Dermatol. 2010 Feb;146(2):143-6. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of dermatology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed