The Professional Diploma
This course is the third part of the three-part Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine. The education pathway is Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine, Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine and Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine.
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Entry Requirements and course requisites
The Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine is ideal for medical professionals who wish to gain the optimum knowledge required to manage primary care patients with a multitude of skin cancer concerns, including rare and complex cases. Participants can expect to acquire advanced knowledge in dermoscopy, histopathology, topical treatments and electro-surgery, making them a favourable referral option for their colleagues. This online course is suitable for medical doctors and International Medical Graduates who wish to subspecialise in the field. Participants must have completed the Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine (or a qualification deemed equivalent).
Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.
Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.
Recognition of Prior Learning
Professionally accredited qualifications and prior studies may be recognised for entry into this course. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience. This email should contain information about your educational history and work experience that specifically pertain to the content and procedures covered in the Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine and Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine. Please include any applicable certificates and course outlines from previous education. The relevant Course Chair will make a determination on your application within two to three weeks.
Doctors who have completed The University of Queensland certificate courses in skin cancer medicine and therapeutics will gain credit into the professional diploma program, providing the relevant HealthCert assessment has been completed.
Doctors who have completed the Certificate in Primary Care Dermatology with the RACGP (modules 1-5) may complete the relevant HealthCert assessment for the Advanced Certificate in Skin Cancer Medicine and then progress to the Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine (please ask a HealthCert Education Advisor for the process).
This course will focus on lesion and field directed treatments as well as skin imaging, drug therapy, special situations, treatment of rare/aggressive skin cancers, and studies of both melanoma and non-melanoma treatments.
The theory sessions cover:
- Merkel cell carcinoma and rare/aggressive skin cancers
- Cutaneous cryosurgery and electrosurgery
- Lesion and field-directed treatments
- Advanced histopathology
- Dermal imaging
- Factors influencing the choice of treatment
- Managing special cases and complications, including immuno-supressed patients
Course participants will:
- Receive unlimited and ongoing access to research/readings in the field, free alumni learning resources, video lectures and discussion forums, as well as invite-only events and special offers after completion of the course
- Receive ongoing support post-course through webinars and case review
- Have the opportunity to participate in optional clinical attachments at dedicated skin cancer clinics
Introduction – The importance of dermatopathology to clinical practice
This introduction lists the goals of dermatopathology and its relevance to clinicians. The dermatopathologist’s tasks and clinician’s role are outlined plus the steps of the pathology process once skin samples are received. Different techniques of margin assessment are shown before moving on to analysis and comparison of margins and includes risk ratios and histological clearance of margins. The relationship between surgical margins and recurrence rates is shown in a chart. The meaning of negative and positive histological margins is explained.
Module 1 –Topical and lesion-directed treatments
The module commences with the dermoscopy of solar (actinic) keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma. The reasons for treating solar keratosis are included depending on the history and lesion presence. A comparison is shown of lesion vs. field-directed treatments as well as a systematic review and meta-analysis, including suggestions for treatment. The liquid nitrogen cryotherapy technique, delivery methods and margin sizes are outlined including contra-indications and adverse effects. The process of curettage with/without electrodessication is described, listing limitations and side effects. The use of topical 5-fluorouracil 5% cream is explained, looking at long-term management, limitations and complications. Clinical images and graphs reinforce learning.
Module 2 – Field treatments
The module looks at the progression of solar keratosis into invasive squamous cell carcinoma and the role of immunosuppression, illustrated by clinical examples. Field treatment options including modes of action and clinical examples of progression of treatment for each modality are provided. Side effects and a table of expected local skin reactions is provided. The complexities when treating immunosuppressed patients are considered. The module concludes with a description of photodynamic therapy, including clinical examples.
Module 3 – Special situations in skin cancer medicine
The module begins with a description of special host and topography when applying skin cancer medicine to patients requiring special consideration, including patients having had organ transplants or suffering from HIV/aids. Another risk category are genetically predisposed patients who have an increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on their genetic makeup. A range of rare disorders/disease syndromes are discussed. Clinical images and research articles are included throughout the module. Several studies of melanoma patients are included. The module concludes with an overview of infrequently self-examined areas and featureless melanomas.
Module 4 – Chemoprevention
This module looks at chemoprevention, its application and how it works in the fight against skin cancer. Primary, secondary and tertiary chemoprevention treatments are listed including chemoprevention options for melanoma, keratinocytic skin cancer and other types of skin cancer and the role of sunscreens. Research articles, clinical and dermoscopic images and data supports the learning. Different chemoprevention options including studies on other chemoprevention medications like statins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are shown. The module continues with charts on the use of (systemic) retinoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and nicotinamide in skin cancer prevention.
Module 5 – Factors influencing the choice of treatment
Choice of treatment options include surgical excision and considers tumour characteristics, the patient and treatment modalities. The module then looks at management options and guidelines for superficial/pigmented/non-pigmented BCC. Surgical excision is not always the best treatment option and these situations are discussed and management plans outlined. The module then looks at hedgehog pathway inhibitors for the treatment/prevention of advanced BCC. The management of keratinocyte skin cancer including clinical and dermoscopic grading and treatment options for solar keratosis are included. Invasive SCC including prognostic classification and characteristics/differentiation of keratocanthoma are included. The module concludes with lentigo maligna, one of the most difficult to recognise melanoma types.
Module 6 – Cryosurgery/electrosurgery in skin cancer medicine
This module describes cryosurgery and the mechanism of action, contra-indications, freezing methods, freeze time/thaw time plus variable factors that impact freeze time. Other considerations include halo diameter, patterns of freeze, type of BCC and number of freeze-thaw cycles. The module continues to premalignant actinic cheilitis, including a table of freeze time/freeze-thaw cycles/halo diameter. Cryosurgery can be a treatment option for malignant BCC and SCC in situ. The technique, statistics and images of curettage and cryosurgery are shown. Possible complications are listed as well as several clinical examples. The module then focusses on electrosurgery. Cautions/contraindications, recurrences and statistics are listed. Various clinical images of electrodessication and curettage reinforce learning.
Module 7 – Merkel cell carcinoma and rare/aggressive skin cancer
This module reviews a collection of more aggressive primary cutaneous malignancies and outlines management options for these tumours. These tumours are hallmarks for adverse outcomes. Many of these entities are relatively rare however some of these more aggressive tumours feature higher rates of mortality and morbidity and clinicians need to be aware of their presentation features and behaviour. The module lists the diagnostic entities and their specific symptoms, illustrated by various clinical images.
Module 8 – Skin imaging techniques
Skin imaging techniques for detecting melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers are outlined starting with (digital) dermatoscopy, listing physical foundation, indications, evidence and target groups. Total body photography is described and illustrated by images. A summary is given of indications, evidence and target groups. The module looks at reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM), explaining the concept of the method, in which cases it is used and clinical indications. A chart is shown of possible combination of digital dermatoscopy with RCM. A summary is given of indications, evidence and target groups. The module then discusses optical coherence tomography, high frequency ultrasound, electric impedance spectroscopy, multispectral analysis and raman spectroscopy listing physical foundation, indications, evidence and target group.
Conclusion: Metastic melanoma (MM)
The section provides further information on the management of metastic melanoma. Evidence is given that BRAF mutations are the most common driver mutation in metastatic melanoma and treatment options for BRAF-V600 mutant MM are listed. Results of studies in previously untreated patients with MM are given.. The effect of several drugs in patients with metastic melanomas is shown and supported by charts.
SPECIAL RATES AND PAYMENT OPTIONS
Prof Harald Kittler
Professor at the Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Prof Luc Thomas
Professor and Chairman Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Lyon, France
Professor Luc Thomas was Board-certified in dermatology in 1989 at Lyon 1 University. He was trained as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in 1990 and 1991, and obtained his PhD degree at Lyon 1 University in 1993. He became full professor of dermatology in 1996, first class professor in dermatology in 2009, and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology of Lyon 1 University - Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud in 2003. He obtained his Board certification in Clinical Oncology in 2013.
Luc’s main research fields include skin oncology, early diagnosis of melanoma, dermoscopy, skin surgery and nail diseases. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals, is the co-editor of four books published in several languages and co-author of more than 25 books. He has lectured at many international meetings, is an associate editor of Dermatology, a member of the board of the International Dermoscopy Society, a past member of the board and treasurer of the French Society of Dermatology from 2000 to 2003, and treasurer of the World Congress of Dermatology in Paris in 2002.
Prof Philipp Tschandl
Executive board member of the International Dermoscopy Society, Secretary of the National Dermatopathology Society in Austria, and member of the Fostering Trainee Education Committee of the EADV.
Professor Philipp Tschandl graduated from the Medical University of Vienna where he also obtained his PhD degree. His main research field is skin cancer, especially its early diagnosis through dermatoscopy, and the teaching of that method. He is an executive board member of the International Dermoscopy Society, secretary of the National Dermatopathology Society in Austria, and member of the Fostering Trainee Education Committee of the EADV.
Philipp is teaching dermatology in the core curricula of Human and Dental Medicine, lectures continuously on dermatoscopy at national and international meetings and workshops, and co-organised the 4th World Congress of Dermoscopy 2015 in Vienna. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is co-author of a major dermatoscopy textbook which has been translated into multiple languages.
Prof Richard Usatine
Professor of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Texas, USA
Founder and medical director of the University Health System Skin Clinic in San Antonio, USA
Professor Richard Usatine is the Professor of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Texas. He is the author of nine books and over 120 papers, founder of the Interactive Dermatology Atlas on the web, and is the most recognised skin cancer presenter in the USA. Since 2000, he has been chosen yearly by his peers to be included in The Best Doctors in America. He is also the national chair of the yearly Skin Course put on by the American Academy of Family Physicians, and is the founder and medical director of the University Health System Skin Clinic in San Antonio.
Richard has been involved in Global Health through his work in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Haiti and Ethiopia. In 2000, Richard Usatine was recognised as the national recipient of the Humanism in Medicine Award, by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
A/Prof Iris Zalaudek
Head of the Dermatology Clinic of the University of Trieste, Italy
Associate Professor Iris Zalaudek is a board-certiﬁed dermatologist and Head of the Dermatology Clinic of the University of Trieste, Italy. Since 2016, she has been President of the International Dermoscopy Society, and was previously the Research Director of the Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Unit at the Medical University of Graz, Austria.
Her main research ﬁelds are related to dermato-oncology and include non-invasive skin imaging techniques, as well as topical and systemic treatment of skin cancer. Moreover, she is engaged in the development of modern teaching methods such as online distant courses and tele-dermatologic services. She is Director of the Master of Science program entitled "Dermoscopy and Preventive Dermato-Oncology" of the Medical University of Graz, Austria.
Iris has published more than 450 articles, of which 358 (267 full papers) have been cited in PubMed. Her combined publications have received an impact factor of 1003 and a h-index value of 36 (by April 2017). In 2003 her work was awarded by the Hans-Weitgasser Price from the Styrian Association of Dermatologists and in 2008 she was awarded the Best Researcher of the Medical University of Graz, Austria.
A/Prof John Pyne
MBBS (Syd) BOptom (Hons 1) MMed PhD FSCCA
Associate Professor Skin Cancer Medicine, The University of NSW
Associate Professor John Pyne was conferred with a Master of Medicine at The University of Queensland, then held a position of Program Director for The University of Queensland Skin Cancer Masters from 2007 until 2013. The thesis for John’s PhD was on the correlations between dermatoscopy and histopathology for BCC and SCC. He is also a past President and Fellow of the Skin Cancer College of Australasia.
John has a main interest in the optical imaging of early primary non-lymphoid cutaneous malignancy and correlations with histopathology. He is currently investigating surgical margins in management of these cancers. John has teaching appointments at The Universities of Queensland, New South Wales and Western Sydney.
Dr Aimilios Lallas
MD PhD MSc
Dermatologist-Venereologist, Aristotle University, Greece
Dr Aimilios Lallas is a Board-Certified Dermatologist-Venereologist. He is currently occupied at the First Department of Dermatology of the Faculty of Medicine of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. Aimilios specialises in skin cancer diagnosis with non-invasive techniques, as well as in the management of skin cancer patients. He possesses a PhD diploma on skin cancer prevention.
Aimilios’ main fields of research interests are in the dermoscopy of skin tumours, the application of the method in general dermatology, and the improvement of the management of oncologic patients. He is co-author of approximately 190 scientific papers, editor of four books and author of several chapters on dermoscopy.
Aimilios is currently the General Secretary of the International Dermoscopy Society and the General Secretary of the 5th World Congress of Dermoscopy, which will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece on 14-16 June 2018.
Dr Elvira Moscaarella
Dermatologist, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Dr Simon Clark
MBChB FRCPA Specialist
Honorary Lecturer in Pathology, The University of Queensland
Dr Simon Clark runs the pathology component of the postgraduate certificate courses in skin cancer medicine at The University of Queensland and lectures in the Masters of Medicine course. He has been involved in dermatopathology education for more than 20 years, training registrars in dermatology, pathology and plastic surgery. More recently he has been active in GP education. One of the best known dermatopathologists in Australia, Simon was recently appointed a visiting professor in dermatology at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.MBChB FRCPA Specialist
Dr Teresa Troiani
Second University of Naples, Italy
Dr Teresa Troiani is an oncologist committed to clinical and translational research. After completing her medical school studies, she was awarded a Fellowship in Oncology at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Teresa has worked there since 1998, studying the role of growth factors and their receptors in neoplastic transformation and the novel therapeutic strategies targeting growth factor receptor signalling.
Teresa’s long-term interest is translational oncology, developing new therapeutic strategies and initiating clinical trials. She worked with Dr Gail Eckhardt for two years, publishing several papers in international journals. Teresa then returned to Naples. She has run a series of translational research projects, with both clinical and basic science investigational arms, at an academic medical centre. During her career, she has learnt that to fight cancer is a big challenge and only by connecting the preclinical with the clinical work is it possible to make one piece of the wider puzzle.
Dr Zoe Apalla
Consultant Dermatologist at State Hospital for Skin and Venereal Diseases, Thessaloniki, Greece
Dr Zoe Apalla was board certified in dermatology in 2008 at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She was trained in dermatopathology at the St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London in 2010 and obtained her PhD degree at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2013.
Zoe has worked as a consultant in the First Dermatology Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki since 2010. She oversees the Supportive Oncology Outpatient Clinic and the Skin Cancer Outpatient Clinic, and the department’s dermatopathology laboratory. She also holds General Dermatology and Inflammatory Dermatoses Outpatient Clinics.
Zoe’s main research fields include skin oncology, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, topical treatments, photodynamic therapy and dermatoscopy. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals and has lectured at many international and national congresses and meetings.
GP REGISTRARS: Doctors in training who are on a recognised pathway to General Practice Registration through a recognised training provider receive a HealthCert Scholarship.
* Two- and Three-Course Bundles including the Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine (online).
Course Delivery and Assessment
This final stage of the Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine is designed as a full online course. We offer a ‘start anytime online’ course structure which gives flexible start and completion times for studies, as well as exam extensions to fit in with busy schedules. Participants can enjoy the flexibility to study at their own pace, in their own time, within their home or office and on their favourite mobile device. The modules are set up in such a way that participants are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay video lectures at their convenience. The two webinars scheduled half way through the course and prior to the exam period offer the opportunity to join, ask questions and interact with the presenters online in real-time, but can also be viewed later. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online within 12 months from the start of the course. With no travel, accommodation or out-of-office expenses incurred, participants can build critical skills and tailor their career while working in a busy practice or raising a family.
There are eight units in a HealthCert Professional Diploma program. The course is delivered over 15 weeks, with 12 weeks of teaching followed by the opening of the final examinations. The course includes online presentations from experts in the field followed by patient case discussions and decision-making.
A clinical audit is a mandatory element of this professional diploma. The clinical audit will guide you to reflect on your patient management, prior to and after, increasing your knowledge through your studies at HealthCert. You will need to submit your own cases as part of the audit. If you no longer see any cases in this field, the course offers an early exit point with the Complex Certificate.
The course includes:
- All presentation slides available for download.
- Access to additional learning resources, reference materials and video lectures.
- Reading list with references to peer-reviewed journal articles to keep up-to-date with developments in the field.
- 12 month web-based support with the opportunity to ask the instructors questions while you implement your learning.
In order to meet the requirements of professional and academic learning, the course assessment includes professional requirements and two online examinations.
- Develop a report/explanation of how the learning from this course will help you with your professional development.
- Complete a literature review of three articles nominated by the course chair.
- Complete a clinical audit (separately accredited) to demonstrate application of learning.
- 120 knowledge multiple choice questions based on a scenario of a medical practitioner undertaking special interest training.
- 120 authentic scenario based questions based on cases of patient care at a clinic.
- Example: A patient arrives at your clinic with this problem … What should you do? Multiple choice images based on patient cases.
The pass mark for each exam is 80 per cent. It is therefore not possible to pass this course on knowledge alone. Knowledge must be successfully applied to patient cases in order to pass the course.
HealthCert recommends completion of all requirements at your convenience within 12 months of the commencement of the course. Exam extensions are available on a case by case basis.
CERTIFICATION AND ACCREDITATION
Upon successful completion of the course requirements, course participants will receive the Professional Diploma
RACGP CPD Accredited Activity 40 Points
- PDP units: 36 Educational activity, 16 Performance review
This certificate course:
- Provides CPD points from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
- Provides PDP points from the Australian Council of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
- Is recognised by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP).
- Is recognised by the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (HKCFP). The HKCFP recognises all courses
endorsed by the RACGP. Points are calculated differently.
- Is a self-submitted activity in Dubai. The number of CPD points must be stated on the certificate. Please contact PLD@dhcr.gov.ae for more information.
- Is a self-submitted activity in the UK. CPD events overseas, applicable to a doctor’s scope of practice, may be submitted for revalidation. Please confirm with your Responsible Officer.
- Is a self-submitted activity in Canada through the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Category 1 points are reported as certified and Category 2 points are reported as non-certified. Contact email@example.com for more information.
- Meets World Federation of Medical Education standards.
- Is recognised by the Skin Cancer Institute (SCI) and may be used as part of an application for Membership or Fellowship.
- Has been collaboratively designed with, and is annually reviewed by, Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Macquarie University.
- Qualifies for a clinical attachment in France at the University of Lyon.
- Qualifies for a clinical attachment in Austria at the University of Vienna.
- Has been independently developed with subject specialists and does not receive education grants from any pharmaceutical company.
Australia-based course participants, please note that HealthCert certificates are not accredited by TEQSA or ASQA and do not fall within the Australian Qualification Framework. All HealthCert certificates are professional development awards, accredited by RACGP, ACRRM and RNZCGP.
It is recommended that this qualification be used as part of an application for Membership or Fellowship with the Skin Cancer Institute.
RPL with The University of Queensland
The Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine is guaranteed for RPL for the unit IMED7010, part of the Graduate Certificate of Medicine (Skin Cancer) which is the first step in the Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer) at The University of Queensland. There are no further requirements for this RPL, it is automatic and guaranteed and provides a saving on fees.
View The University of Queensland, Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer) program here.
RPL with Torrens University
This postgraduate pathway is for General Practitioners and degree-qualified medical practitioners who have successfully completed a HealthCert Professional Diploma (all three levels) in Skin Cancer Medicine, Skin Cancer Surgery or Dermoscopy. The following postgraduate course is offered entirely online through Torrens University: Master of Business Administration (MBA). Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is available for two general electives for any HealthCert Professional Diploma. In cases where a HealthCert alumni has completed two Professional Diplomas, they will be able to apply for four general electives towards the MBA. You can find more information here. This will be helpful to further develop business, management and leadership capabilities.
Please apply directly to Torrens University through this link here.
Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology
Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology studied through the Rila Institute of Health Sciences and awarded by the University of Plymouth (UK).
There are three modules in the Postgraduate Diploma. Medical professionals who successfully complete the HealthCert Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine, Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer
The Postgraduate Diploma is mainly delivered online. No practical workshops will be required due to the APCL from the HealthCert qualifications. Overall there will be a time saving of 40 per cent of the postgraduate program due to the APCL. Exams will be held in Perth, Western Australia.
When the Postgraduate Diploma has been successfully completed, medical professionals can apply for credit from the Postgraduate Diploma to the Master of Science in the specialism awarded by the University of Plymouth.
Certified Clinical Attachments Pathway
Clinical attachments are optional and available on a 1:1 or small group basis. These provide the opportunity to observe skin cancer medicine treatments and ask questions of the expert performing the treatments. In addition to clinical attachments in Australia, university teaching hospitals at the University of Lyon and the University of Vienna are available for clinical attachments. HealthCert certificates and university statements are awarded for participating in clinical attachments.
The Medical University of Vienna is the largest medical organisation in Austria, as well as one of the top-level research institutions in Europe and provides Europe's largest hospital, the Vienna General Hospital, with all of its medical staff. The Vienna General Hospital has about 100,000 patients treated as inpatients and 605,000 treated as outpatients each year.
The dominant areas of study covered by The Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 are science and medicine. Attached to the university are the "Hospices