Evaluating skin of color education in dermatology residency programs: data from a national survey


      A dearth of skin of color (SOC) education exists among dermatology residency programs despite the increasingly diverse United States population; a 2008 study reported that 52% of dermatology residency programs had didactic sessions or lectures focusing on diseases in SOC. In the last decade, no new studies have examined the state of residency SOC education. In this study, dermatology residents across the United States were surveyed anonymously about SOC education at their residency program, satisfaction with SOC education, opinions on improving SOC education, and perspective on cultural competence. Of the 125 respondents, 63.2% reported their program provides SOC-related didactics; 44.0% had a rotation where residents primarily saw patients with SOC, although only 11.2% had a dedicated SOC rotation. While more than 60% of residents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their SOC education, residents’ satisfaction with their knowledge of diseases primarily seen in SOC was lowest (56.8%) of all categories. Thematic analysis revealed four major themes for improvement of SOC education, including curricular reform, clinical exposure, emphasizing determinants of health, and opportunities to learn from faculty with diverse interests and expertise about SOC. These findings highlight unique opportunities for dermatologists to enhance SOC education and care for patients of all backgrounds.
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