Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine - Medicine

Thumb main image professional diploma of skin cancer medicine

The Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Medicine will extend your knowledge required to manage the majority of all skin cancer cases through the application of dermoscopy, advanced histopathology, topical treatments, and electro-surgery. You will also learn how to manage immune-suppressed patients and manage rare and aggressive skin cancers. This course is delivered online in eight modules and is presented by the world's leading skin cancer experts including Professor Harald Kittler (Austria), Professor Richard Usatine (USA), Professor Iris Zalaudek (Austria), Professor Luc Thomas (France), and other thought leaders in this field.

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. 

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 subspecialize 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.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Professionally accredited qualifications and prior studies may be recognized for entry into this course. Please send an email to [email protected] 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).

Course Contents

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
  • Chemoprevention
  • Advanced histopathology
  • Dermal imaging
  • Factors influencing the choice of treatment
  • Managing special cases and complications, including immuno-suppressed 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

Course Outline

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.Note this e-course is not hosted on Nexlec and users can click the "Select" button to be directed to the course page.

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.

Online Assessment

  • 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.

Note this e-course is not hosted on Nexlec and users can click the "Select" button to be directed to the course page.

Providers Terms

Course Transfers

Face to Face Courses

Course transfers for Face to Face practical workshops are available, subject to requests being received, in writing, a minimum of 10 business days prior to workshop commencement. Transfer requests received after 10 business days prior to workshop commencement will incur an Administration Fee of $250.

Transfers will be subject to availability in the future workshops. If the future workshop has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the transfer request.

One workshop transfer, per course is allowed. Further transfers will be considered upon application and may be charged at 25% of a full new workshop booking rate.

Online Courses

Transfers for Online courses are available subject to requests being received, in writing, within 7 days of enrolment. Transfer requests received after the 7 days post enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $200. One course transfer request, per course is allowed.

If the future course being transferred to, has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the course transfer request.

Online Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellation and a full refund of the course fees will be provided if a request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250. Upon cancellation and full refund of the course enrolment, you will not receive a certificate or accreditation points.

Bundle Courses

Courses purchased as part of a bundle attract a discount. This discount is apportioned to the final course in the bundle in the cases of cancellations and refunds. Therefore, cancellation and refund requests of a course that have been purchased as part of a bundle are refunded based on the first and/or second course being charged at the full price rate. Any courses remaining in the bundle can be refunded provided the request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250.

Course Fee$1,255Book
Contact Hours:

12.0 hrs


Online Lectures


8 Online Modules

Lecture Videos

All Devices





HealthCert Education
Thumb elvira moscaarella

Dr Elvira Moscaarella

MD Dermatologist, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Dr Elvira Moscarella is a dermatologist at the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Reggio Emilia, Italy. She acquired her medical degree in 2005 at the Second University of Naples before completing her residency in dermatology and venereology at the University’s Department of Dermatology. In 2008, Elvira undertook further education in dermoscopy and confocal microscopy. She is a member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and the International Dermoscopy Society, and is Editor in Chief of the latter’s newsletter and case of the month. Elvira’s main interests are in dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy, and their use in skin cancer medicine.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Dr Teresa Troiani

PhD 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.

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Dr Zoe Apalla

MD PhD 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.

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Prof Harald Kittler

MD Professor at the Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Professor Harald Kittler has a special clinical interest in dermoscopy of pigmented skin lesions. His main research interest is digital dermoscopy, follow-up of pigmented skin lesions, and computer assisted digital dermoscopy. Harald has been working for 10 years in the field of dermoscopy and has published a number of scientific articles especially in the field of digital dermoscopy and dermoscopic follow-up of melanocytic nevi.

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Prof Luc Thomas

MD, PhD 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.

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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.

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Prof Richard Usatine

MD PhD 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.

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A/Prof Iris Zalaudek

MD PhD 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.

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