Skin of color education in dermatology residency programs: Does residency training reflect the changing demographics of the United States?

Rajiv I. Nijhawan, Sharon E. Jacob, Heather Woolery-Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Background: It is projected that by the year 2050, close to 50% of the US population will comprise people with skin of color. Objective: We sought to assess whether future dermatologists will be prepared to treat patients with skin of color. Methods: An e-mail with a link to a brief 9-question survey was sent to 109 program directors and chief residents. Results: A total of 41 (37.6%) program directors and 63 (50.0%) chief residents completed the online survey. In all, 14.3% (P < .001) of chief residents and 14.6% (P < .001) of program directors recognized an expert at their institutions who conducted a skin of color clinic. In all, 25.4% (P < .001) of chief residents and 19.5% (P < .001) of program directors reported having lectures on skin of color from an acknowledged expert. In all, 30.2% (P < .001) of chief residents and 12.2% (P < .001) of program directors reported a specific rotation in which residents gained specific experience in treating patients with skin of color. In all, 52.4% (P = .70) of chief residents and 65.9% (P < .02) of program directors reported to have either lectures or didactic sessions focusing on diseases in skin of color incorporated into their curriculums. In all, 84.1% (P < .001) of chief residents and 90.2% (P < .001) of program directors reported having training programs in which residents gained experience treating patients with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. In all, 100% (P < .001) of both chief residents and program directors reported having training programs in which residents gained experience treating patients with keloids and melasma. Limitations: The limitations of this study included recall bias, an incomplete response rate, unsure respondents, and questions that may not have applied to certain programs. Conclusion: The results indicate a need for increased exposure, educational sessions, and overall training in diseases pertaining to skin of color in US dermatology residencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-618
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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