University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students

Learn about the Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students.

The Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students group represents the first educational community outreach program designed to teach teens and school-aged children about the importance of early detection and prevention of skin cancer. Volunteer medical students visit local schools to instruct students about sun safe habits, avoiding artificial tanning beds as well as skin cancer detection and prevention.

One in five Americans will have skin cancer, and early intervention is key. The SPOTS program focuses on adolescents, a high-risk group and is a free educational, interactive and comprehensive yet concise one-hour presentation focusing on the prevention of skin cancer.

The program makes the importance of sun protection resonate with teenagers. Understanding that adolescents are highly motivated by their physical appearance, SPOTS uses health- and appearance-based motivators to encourage teens to use sun protection and avoid tanning beds. Since peers strongly influence teens, the program incorporates a video of two teenagers describing their journey with melanoma and uses young medical students as SPOTS instructors. Medical students are young enough to be relatable but have the credibility to be impactful.

SPOTS started as a collaboration between St. Louis University and Washington University medical schools in St. Louis, Mo, but has expanded nationwide. 

To become SPOTS program volunteer or to request information on sponsoring SPOTS for a school, please email Aubree Ford, SPOTS Program Lead Coordinator

Visit our UNMC Dermatology Interest Group On Engage

Learn more at the national Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students