An inventory of current interventions to improve dermatologic clinical assessment in skin of color and recommendations for continued advancement

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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology


Despite documented disparities with regard to treatment of skin of color (SOC) among dermatology trainees, a consensus has not yet been established as to how to improve trainee experiences with regard to SOC pathology. Our study objective was to systematically review the literature and assess interventions that have been implemented thus far to increase trainee competence and/or confidence in assessing SOC pathology. A systematic review of PubMed, Scopus, and Science Direct in January 2022 was performed, yielding a total of 1097 records. Inclusion of primary literature only resulted in 669 records. After assessing records for relevance to the objective, a total of 3 were included. Two studies assessed interventions among medical students and 1 among dermatology resident physicians. In general, the interventions assessed the effect of a specific SOC curriculum, but varied in how they came up with the curriculum. One study engaged with medical students of color to develop their curriculum, and 1 study retrospectively identified and included images of patients with SOC into a new database that was used for educational purposes. Interventions that engage with SOC communities may be most relevant, whether this is done by using patient data or by allowing leadership with medical students of color. We present a system for future future interventions to engage with medical students of color at their institution to improve trainee experiences with skin of color and long-term recruitment and support of a diverse medical student body to the field of dermatology.

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