Medical Education

Practicing medicine with technology starts by learning with technology.

Laptop, tablet, iPhone, and other electronic devices displaying the VisualDx medical image atlas.

Our Purpose

VisualDx provides problem-oriented decision support for differential diagnosis, testing, and therapeutic decisions. VisualDx includes the world’s best dark skin atlas and most equitable image collection of disease presentations in people of all skin colors.

With virtual education a must-have in this post-COVID world, VisualDx has created readily available resources to assist both in the classroom and online education.

VisualDx can help you and your program teach:

  • Clinical reasoning skills
  • Point-of-care information access
  • How cognitive bias impacts accuracy and diagnosis
A Black clinician in a white coat speaks to two female medical residents.

Our Commitment

As the quantity of medical knowledge exponentially grows, many medical curricula remain designed around ensuring students achieve high scores on multiple-choice examinations. Emphasizing the memorization of disconnected facts is not an educational paradigm.

The solution is not to add more soon-to-be-replaced facts to an already overwhelmed student brain. We need to create an educational and care delivery system that rewards thoroughness, logical competence, procedural skills, and excellence in information acquisition.

Our patients deserve a disciplined approach to evidence-based problem solving and logical clinical decision making. To achieve this goal, we are certain that students, residents, and clinicians need highly reliable tools designed for the decision-making moment. We need to train students on the tools they will actually use.

Our Inspiration

Variability of care delivery in medicine has existed for decades. More than 50 years ago, Lawrence Weed, MD, challenged those in the medical profession to consider the burden of our cognitive mistakes, the lack of feedback loops in medicine, and the over-reliance on the unaided human brain.

After creating the Problem-Oriented Medical Record and SOAP note format, Dr. Weed spent decades tirelessly advocating for the creation of systems to augment medical thinking. VisualDx is dedicated to Dr. Weed’s vision of augmented intelligence and the primacy of the patient in medical decision making. We encourage all students, residents, and physicians to view his 1971 Emory University Internal Medicine Grand Rounds.

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VisualDx Case Resources for Educators and Students

In addition to the VisualDx system, we create resources to be used in conjunction with VisualDx. These resources engage the learner in clinical decision making and improve their knowledge of the proper use of information technology.

Case Vignettes Vol. 1

Use case stories to teach problem-solving with VisualDx.

Case Vignettes Vol. 2

Bites, stings, and infestations.

Case Vignettes Vol. 3

Emergency and urgent care.

Problem-Based Learning

Students learn by inputting case findings in VisualDx, reviewing the differential diagnosis, and then discussing their logic.

Top Ten Cases

For educators: Challenge your students to identify the diagnosis based on case photos. Contact us to receive a series of case lectures.

Disease Appearance: Variations in Skin Presentations

Learn how skin diseases present on different skin types.

Dermatology Educational Resources

LearnDerm

Students learn by inputting case findings in VisualDx, reviewing the differential diagnosis, and then discussing their logic.

LearnDerm Companion

Download a lecture Powerpoint that includes several topics including “Identifying skin lesions,” “Introduction to Morphologic Variation,” and “In-class exam.”

Structural Racism and Racial Bias in Medicine webinar image cover

The Impact of Skin Color and Ethnicity on Clinical Diagnosis and Research

A series of four educational webinars in which clinical experts, thought leaders, and advocates discuss issues of health disparities, structural racism, and medicine while examining specific dermatologic diseases. This event series is brought to you by the Skin of Color Society, NEJM Group, and VisualDx.

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National Dermatology Kodachromes

A cornerstone of education for dermatology residents and beyond. Our National Dermatology Kodachrome sessions include a didactic from an esteemed physician followed by an interactive quiz that puts your pattern recognition and diagnostic skills to the test.

Dec. 9, 2020: Dr. Robin Gehris

Sept. 22, 2020: Dr. Misha Rosenbach

May 16, 2020: Dr. Jeffrey Callen

May 2, 2020: Dr. Jeffrey Callen

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Pop Quizzes

1: Dermatology

2: Dermatology

3: Skin Conditions in Primary Care

4: Dermatology

5: Solitary Lesions

6: Dermatology

Medical Education Series

External Resources to Support Education in Diagnostic Reasoning

SIDM Foundational Reading in Diagnostic Errors (PubMed Links and References)

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Getting it Right: Cases to Improve Diagnosis from the ACP

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Aquifer Diagnostic Excellence: A Case-Based Course

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SIDM Consensus Curriculum on Diagnosis

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SIDM Assessment of Reasoning Tool

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Resources and References

Features of Effective Medical Knowledge Resources to Support Point of Care Learning: A Focus Group Study

We identified nine features that influence users’ selection of knowledge resources, namely efficiency (with sub-features of comprehensiveness, searchability, and brevity), integration with clinical workflow, credibility, user familiarity, capacity to identify a human expert, reflection of local care processes, optimization for the clinical question (e.g., diagnosis, treatment options, drug side effect), currency, and ability to support patient education. No single existing resource exemplifies all of these features.

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Impact of Clinicians’ Use of Electronic Knowledge Resources on Clinical and Learning Outcomes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Use of electronic knowledge resources is associated with a positive impact on clinician behaviors and patient effects. We found statistically significant associations between the use of electronic knowledge resources and improved clinician behaviors and patient effects. When compared with other resources, the use of electronic knowledge resources was associated with increased success in answering clinical questions, with variable impact on speed. Comparisons of different implementation strategies of the same electronic knowledge resource suggest that there are benefits from allowing clinicians to choose to access the resource, versus automated display of resource information, and from integrating patient-specific information. A total of 4 studies compared different commercial electronic knowledge resources, with variable results. Resource implementation strategies can significantly influence outcomes but few studies have examined such factors.

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Evaluating the Appropriateness of Electronic Information Resources for Learning

Compared to AccessMedicine and Wikipedia, UpToDate was associated with significantly higher values of eye metrics, suggesting learners experienced higher mental effort. No statistically significant difference between the amount of mental effort and learning outcomes was found. More so, descriptive statistical analysis of the knowledge test scores suggested similar levels of learning regardless of the information resource used.

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Unanswered Clinical Questions: A Survey of Specialists and Primary Care Providers

Study results: Most of the 292 respondents encountered clinical questions at least a few times per week. While the vast majority often or always pursued answers, time was the biggest barrier for not following through on questions. Most respondents did not have any formal training in searching databases, were unaware of many digital resources, and indicated a need for resources and services that could be provided at the point of care. “Our study results indicate that our clinicians are receptive to new technology and that most already use mobile devices to access clinical information, opening the door for enhanced mobile interventions such as a search request app, current awareness alerts, and other clinical tools that could be readily accessed at the point of care when the need arises.”

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Clinical Questions Raised by Clinicians at the Point of Care: A Systematic Review

Frequency of questions raised, pursued, and answered and questions by type according to a taxonomy of clinical questions. Thematic analysis of barriers to information seeking and the effects of information seeking on decision making. RESULTS In 11 studies, 7012 questions were elicited through short interviews with clinicians after each patient visit. The mean frequency of questions raised was 0.57 (95% CI, 0.38-0.77) per patient seen, and clinicians pursued 51% (36%-66%) of questions and found answers to 78% (67%-88%) of those they pursued. Overall, 34% of questions concerned drug treatment, and 24% concerned potential causes of a symptom, physical finding, or diagnostic test finding. Clinicians’ lack of time and doubt that a useful answer exists were the main barriers to information seeking.

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