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June 2017

Diversity in Dermatology—A Call for Action

Author Affiliations
  • 1Association of Professors of Dermatology, Norcross, Georgia
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(6):499-500. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.0296

As discussed in the recent article by Chen and Shinkai,1 there is a striking lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the field of dermatology in the United States. Approximately 3% of dermatologists in the United States are black, and 4.2% are Hispanic, compared with 12.8% and 16.3%, respectively, of the total population,1,2 which defines them as underrepresented minorities (URM) in medicine within our specialty. In 2014, dermatology residents in the United States were 68.8% white, 3.9% black, 6.7% Hispanic, 20.3% Asian, 0.2% Native American/Alaskan Native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1.9% multiracial, and 4.8% other/unknown3 (numbers add up to more than 100% because individuals may report more than 1 category). While strikingly different from the proportions of URM in the general population, with the exception of the multiracial category, these numbers are closer to the proportions of URM in recent medical school graduates,4 highlighting the issue of lack of diversity in medical schools.

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