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Vermont consistently has one of the highest annual rates of melanoma in the United States. This is likely due to a range of factors including population demographics (predominantly white, aging population), active outdoor lifestyles, intense seasonal bursts of sun exposure, and inadequate Winter sun protection. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated shutdowns have caused significant delays in healthcare delivery, further exacerbating the incidence and severity of melanoma. Primary care providers are therefore an increasingly essential first line of defense in detecting suspicious skin lesions and expediting treatment of skin cancer, but patients should be aware of when to seek evaluation. I developed a patient-centered educational bookmark (adapted from the American Academy of Dermatology) to improve public knowledge about when a skin lesion is likely to be malignant vs. benign. The bookmark was distributed to Thomas Chittenden Health Center in Williston, VT and the University of Vermont Medical Center Family Medicine clinic in Hinesburg, VT. Qualitative feedback was collected and categorized according to major themes including appearance, utility, and relevance to Vermonters. Future directions for this project include further distribution at local libraries, book fairs, and schools as well as quantitative evaluation of its efficacy as an intervention through population surveys.

I worked in collaboration with Sam Afshari for the distribution of this intervention across clinics and for collection of feedback. I distributed and collected feedback for Sam's presentation "Improving Identification of Dermatologic Conditions in Skin of Color" (see Slide 7 for details).

Clinical Site

Thomas Chittenden Health Center, Williston VT


dermatology, oncology, primary care, skin cancer, sun protection, cancer prevention, skin of color

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Dermatology | Diagnosis | Medical Education | Primary Care | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases

Benign vs. Malignant: Improving Prevention and Detection of Cancerous vs. Non-Cancerous Skin Lesions Through Inclusive Patient Education