Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

This article is published with the permission of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Access Australian Family Physician online. Permission to reproduce this article must obtained from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Copyright © 2006 Australian Family Physician. All rights reserved.


BACKGROUND The ability of general practitioners to make important clinical decisions about the diagnosis and management of skin lesions is poorly understood. METHODS A questionnaire on the diagnosis and management of eight photographed skin lesions was sent to 150 GPs in southeast Queensland. RESULTS The questionnaire was completed by 114 GPs (response rate 77%). General practitioners’ provisional diagnoses and management of photographed skin lesions were mostly or always correct, and there was general high consistency between diagnosis and intended management. Pigmented seborrhoeic keratoses were the most difficult lesions for GPs to diagnose correctly. Whether a lesion was different to usual moles appears to have the strongest association with clinical diagnosis. DISCUSSION The high ability of GPs as measured in this artificial study is encouraging. The strong association between identifying moles that appear different to usual and correct clinical diagnoses suggest that unless GPs can increase the number of skin lesions they see as part of their typical workload, their clinical ability may not increase further.



This document has been peer reviewed.