At the 2022 Annual ASDS Meeting, Mona Gohara, MD, highlights the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of dermatology.
In a recap from her session, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Meeting, Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and chair of the Media Relations Work Group of ASDS, spoke with Dermatology Times® about highlights and key takeaway points. Gohara’s most important message was that change begins when professionals acknowledge there is a lack of diversity in dermatology and commit to changing the statistics together.
Hi, my name is Mona Gohara. I'm a board-certified dermatologist in New Haven. I'm in private practice and an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. I think that diversity, equity, and inclusion in dermatology is exceptionally important. Because we know, unfortunately, that dermatology is the second to least diverse specialty, only second to orthopedic surgery. That being said, we think, and we know that it's very important to address these things as doctors and make a commitment to move the needle. And that's exactly what this session is about. It's acknowledging the need and committing to change.
One of the things that's really important is to understand that this isn't speculative, we aren't talking about this, you know, because we made it up. This is a data-driven problem. We know that there are less underrepresented minority doctors, for example, than there are underrepresented minority people in the population. So, I really would like to emphasize that as an important point, that this is not conjecture. This is a data-driven issue that needs to be addressed.
I also think it's important to understand that environments that are abundant in diversity, equity, and inclusion, of course, that is the right thing to do. But environments that are abundant in these three tenants are more productive, they have better outcomes. There's less bias, there's less disparity and discrepancy. And as doctors, what do we want more than that, which is to have good outcomes for our patients. That's what our job is as physicians. So, by enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in your own personal sphere, whether that's in private practice or academia, you're actually enhancing patient care, which is our number one goal as doctors. And third, I understand that this can be very overwhelming and you can think, ‘How can I make a change?’ Often times people think of being an activist is holding a big sign and marching in the streets of a big city. Being an activist simply means acknowledging that there's a need and committing to change.
Transcript edited for clarity.