RESEARCH

SOCRiTES

In what way does skin of colour representation in undergraduate dermatology education influence medical students’ clinical experiences? 
Dancing Hands

The Issue

Health outcomes vary by ethnicity. The nature, direction and cause of this effect varies from condition to condition and ethnicity to ethnicity. In every circumstance, a vast range of complex factors interact to cause the disparity in health outcomes.

In dermatology, one factor that has been suggested is doctors’ lack of familiarity with how certain presentations look on non-white skin (skin of colour). This has been put forward as a cause for worse outcomes amongst people of colour for conditions such as malignant melanoma, atopic dermatitis and rosacea.

 

If medical students are not taught about skin signs using examples of patients with varied skin colours, this might have a negative effect on their approach to and treatment of people of colour later in their career.

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