Dermatologic Simulation of Neglected Tropical Diseases for Medical Professionals

Publication ID Published Volume
10525 December 31, 2016 12

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While patients with neglected tropical diseases may present for care in the United States, they are encountered so infrequently that medical professionals may have little chance of being exposed to these illnesses during training. This simulation on dermatological presentations of neglected tropical diseases was used as a teaching tool for multifaceted topics including disease management, interdisciplinary collaboration, and sociocultural issues. To achieve this goal, we created four cases with patients demonstrating clinical and dermatological presentations. Through the use of a moulage kit, this simulation portrayed four common neglected tropical diseases that are rarely encountered in the United States: dengue fever, cutaneous leishmaniasis, lepromatous leprosy, and yaws. Following the clinical experience, a debrief session discussing sociocultural and dermatological factors of neglected tropical diseases occurred. The feedback obtained regarding the simulation was exceptionally positive. The participants indicated that the simulation improved their medical knowledge of neglected tropical diseases, diagnostic abilities, and interprofessional communication skills. This simulation can easily be adapted for use in conferences, health professional education, and patient advocacy, making it relevant for training in a wide variety of settings. Through the application of this simulation, greater progress can be made in the education of medical professionals on neglected tropical diseases and dermatology. Not only will the application of realistic workshops increase medical competency regarding these rarely encountered diseases, it will also provide opportunities to engage with these diseases, which can cultivate interest in the future pursuit of global health.


Mankbadi M, Goyack L, Thiel B, Weinstein D, Simms-Cendan J, Hernandez C. Dermatologic simulation of neglected tropical diseases for medical professionals. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2016;12:10525.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the public health impact in the developing world of neglected tropical diseases and the reasons why clinicians in the United States should be able to recognize and correctly diagnose these conditions.
  2. Use the information gathered from the medical history and physical examination of a standardized patient to correctly identify four common neglected tropical diseases.
  3. Briefly summarize the epidemiology, symptoms, dermatologic findings, diagnostic workup, and treatment of eight common neglected tropical diseases.


  • Global Health, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Cutaneous Manifestations, Interprofessional Simulation


  1. Chapman R, Sabina R, Thomas D. Skin signs of systemic disease TBL. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2015;11:10184.
  2. Hotez PJ, Fenwick A, Savioli L, Molyneux DH. Rescuing the bottom billion through control of neglected tropical diseases. Lancet. 2009;373(9674):1570-1575.
  3. Lee P, Johnson A, Rajashekara S, et al. Clinical topics in global health: a practical introduction for pre-clinical medical students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9471.
  4. Neglected tropical diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Updated June 7, 2016. Accessed June 19, 2016.
  5. Neglected tropical diseases. World Health Organization Web site. Accessed May 10, 2016.
  6. Panosian C, Coates TJ. The new medical “missionaries”—grooming the next generation of global health workers. N Engl J Med. 2006;354(17):1771-1773.
  7. Why NTDs? END7 Web site. Accessed May 10, 2016.

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ISSN 2374-8265