Why We Need More Black Dermatologists

Many dermatologists may commit themselves to provide proper treatment to all their patients, but there is still a significant disparity in African American dermatologic care. The current dermatologic training does not focus on the unique presentations of cutaneous pathology in the African American population. In addition, many medical students lack adequate training in how skin disorders manifest in Black patients and other people of color. Another factor contributing to the lack of dermatologists knowledgeable on other skin colors is that only 3% of dermatologists are Black.

Most Black people have no access to a Black dermatologist to treat acne and other skin, hair, and nail conditions, let alone a dermatologist who knows how to treat people of color.To better serve African American patients in the U.S., there needs to be an increase in Black dermatologists.

Patients now demand culturally aware physicians thatcan empathizewith their condition. A Black dermatologist is desired since there’s no guarantee that Caucasian dermatologists have the training and awareness to treat African Americans, especially since different races have different skin and hair care routines. Lack of knowledge on the matter can lead to undiagnosed conditions and poor survival rates forconditions like melanoma.

One simple solution to the lack of enough Black dermatologists is to recruit more of them to treat Black women, especially since patients feel more comfortable when they’re the same ethnicity as their doctor.However, one problem is how competitive dermatology is to the point that even meeting the requirements of getting into a dermatology program is not a guarantee to get in.Another hurdle is that Black medical students are discouraged from the program because most of the patients in the field are White.

Because of the multiple hurdles in the system that affect dermatology’s racial diversity, changes in the current healthcare system must be initiated to allow for more Black dermatologists in the field. However, for now, African American women in need to look for a reputable Black owned dermatologist clinic to get the treatment they need.

We at Eternal Dermatology can help our African American patients with their skin concerns.

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