Canadian Skin of Colour & Diversity Scholarship Program Will Improve Care for Underrepresented Populations


Programs will address an education or care gap in skin of color that is not being met in dermatological care.

Pfizer Canada and the Skin Spectrum Summit recently announced a new scholarship program that will enhance dermatological care for underrepresented Canadians.1 The Canadian Skin of Colour & Diversity Scholarship program will provide funding for dermatology residents to apply their ideas to address treatment gaps for those with deeper skin tones, Indigenous Peoples, and other racialized individuals.

Lune V A/

Lune V A/

Proposed programs can address a number of concerns, including diversity gaps in dermatology, education, or care. The specific focus could include the effects of skin diseases and conditions on all skin types, addressing the unique challenges of northern Indigenous communities, or addressing the cultural and language barriers for newcomers to Canada.

The idea for the scholarship program came about at the 2022 Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) Conference with the winning symposium, “Not all flares are Red,” sponsored by Pfizer, which Marissa Joseph, MD, MSc, FRCPC (pediatrics and dermatology), and medical director of the RKS Dermatology Centre at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Canada, chaired.

“Building on the success of this program, we continued discussions about meaningful actions that could be taken to better support patients coming from diversity. We decided to set in place an independent committee of experts comprised of 11 dermatologists across Canada who collaborated and the ‘Canadian Skin of Colour & Diversity Scholarship Program’ was born,” Joseph told Dermatology Times®. “I am excited to see the breadth of projects and perspectives from the submitted applications. This is an amazing opportunity to encourage scholarly activities designed to address unmet dermatologic needs in racialized Canadians, it has been a real privilege to collaborate on this initiative.”

The Skin Spectrum Summit is in its ninth year and is dedicated to providing better dermatologic care to the diverse population of Canada. An independent selection committee will review submissions and choose 2 winners who will each receive $20,000 to implement their projects and share progress at the following year’s Skin Spectrum Summit.

Applications will be accepted until September 5, 2023, at 11:59pm.


  1. Pfizer Canada and the Skin Spectrum Summit announce a new scholarship to improve dermatological care for racialized Canadians. News release. Pfizer. July 17, 2023. Accessed on July 20, 2023.
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