Diversifying the dermatology workforce: Physician characteristics vary by race/ethnicity
BACKGROUND:In the United States (US), dermatology remains one of the least diverse specialties in medicine. Increasing the diversity of the dermatology workforce is essential for reducing health disparities. OBJECTIVE:To describe the experiences of racially and ethnically diverse physicians in the US who successfully matched into dermatology. METHODS:Board-certified dermatologists and dermatology residents were recruited to participate in an anonymous, online survey in which self-reported demographic, socioeconomic, pre-residency, and post-residency career data were obtained. RESULTS:Of the 100 participants included in the study, 30% were dermatology residents and 25% belonged to a group underrepresented in medicine (UIM). Black physicians were 3.69 times more likely to select dermatology prior to medical school (odds ratio [OR], 3.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 - 13.0) compared to non-Black physicians. UIM dermatologists and trainees were more likely to receive a need-based scholarship in medical school (OR, 4.37; 95% CI, 1.30 - 14.7), graduate from a private medical institution (OR, 6.49; 95% CI, 1.95 - 21.6), and have at least one UIM dermatology mentor during medical school (adjusted OR, 13.1; 95% CI, 2.77 - 61.5) compared to non-UIM physicians. CONCLUSIONS:A holistic review of dermatology applicants by residency programs may reduce racial/ethnic disparities in the admission process. Our data provide further evidence in support of pre-medical outreach programs, mentorship, and institutional funding to promote diversity in dermatology.
Acne vulgaris in skin of color
In the 21st century, individuals with skin of color, including those of Hispanic, Asian, and African American descent, will account for more than half of the US population. Consequently, those individuals will constitute a significant patient population for the dermatology community. Dermatologists in major metropolitan centers as well as those in rural communities need to meet the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges posed by these patients by becoming familiar with dermatologic disease prevalence and presentation in skin of color. Commonly occurring cutaneous diseases, such as acne vulgaris, display histological and clinical differences in people with skin of color compared with Caucasians (whites). Additionally, the response to therapeutic agents may vary in people with skin of color. This article reviews data derived from a survey of skin of color patients with acne vulgaris seen at the Skin of Color Center, Department of Dermatology, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, in New York City. This information should help clinicians in their diagnosis and treatment of acne vulgaris for these patients