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The Role We Play in Addressing Racial Disparity in Dermatology

Dermatology TimesDermatology Times, February 2023 (Vol. 44. No. 02)
Volume 44
Issue 02

It’s important to continuously look forward to our role in serving all patients and colleagues—especially those who are underrepresented.

February is Black History Month. As we look back on the trailblazers who have advocated for equity in all industries, it’s important to continuously look forward at our role in serving all patients and colleagues—especially those who are underrepresented.

A 2022 study shows significant racial and ethnic disparities in dermatologic care.1 Researchers found an underrepresentation of minorities in the workforce, insufficient research and photos of all skin colors, lack of education on conditions affecting people of color, and inconsistent humility in dermatologic care. There are steps we can all take to accomplish equity in health care in day-to-day practices.

Empathy and education go a long way. Your patients may be working to overcome generational hurdles affecting their socioeconomic status, education, and health. Researchers leading the study opened the discussion on how important it is to approach patients with curiosity to learn about their conditions, share insightful findings to help other medical professionals better identify skin issues in people of color, and empathize with them through treatment. A diverse dermatologic workforce will also translate into an improved understanding of conditions impacting specific ethnic backgrounds in the long run.

The Dermatology Times® team is thrilled to bring you, our reader, clinical articles, features, and news about skin conditions in all patients year-round. In this month’s issue, be sure to delve into the article by Ilya Petrou, MD, “Vitiligo in Different Ethnicities.” The importance of compassion is highlighted as skin depigmentation causes psychological distress and social stigmatization—particularly in patients with darker skin tones. In addition to this insightful print issue, we embrace sharing up-to-the minute information, breaking news, videos, and updates on our website (dermatologytimes.com) as well as on all of our social media channels.

Mike Hennessy Jr. is the President and CEO of MJH Life Sciences®.


1. Narla S, Heath CR, Alexis A, Silverberg JI. Racial disparities in dermatology. Arch Dermatol Res. 2022;1-9. doi:10.1007/s00403-022-02507-z

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