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Diversity Mentorship Program: Information for medical students


A lack of ethnic diversity exists among dermatology's physician population. This affects ethnic minority patients because they may seek medical care less frequently or when it is too late. 

The Diversity Mentorship Program offers hands-on exposure to students who are interested in learning more about the specialty of dermatology through a one-on-one mentorship experience with a dermatologist of the student's choice. 

Who should apply: First- through fourth-year medical students who are considered to be underrepresented in medicine* may apply to participate in the American Academy of Dermatology’s Mentorship Program. However, we highly encourage medical students to apply in their third or early fourth year of medical school when they have already decided on dermatology as a career and can use the month-long mentorship experience to work on publications and clinic work to receive an advantageous letter of recommendation from their mentor.

Program and grant: The mentorship is a one-month program that consists of a full-time, 40-hour work week for four weeks for a total of about 160 hours of experience. Medical students commonly participate in this program in the summer months, but it must be complete by Dec. 1. The mentorship may be completed in a choice of environments, such as a medical center, hospital, or private practice. A $1,500 grant will be awarded during time of mentorship to assist with travel and living expenses.

Application timeline: Applications submitted on or before November 1 will be considered in the selection cycle for the coming year. Applications submitted after this date will be held for the following year's award cycle.

Apply for a mentorship

Apply for a one-on-one mentorship experience with a dermatologist of your choice.

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* The Academy recognizes the following racial groups as underrepresented in the field of dermatology (as related to the US population): Black/African-American, Hispanic, Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander. Must be a US citizen or have a permanent resident visa.

  • Qualifications
  • Application materials
  • FAQs
    • Must be a first- through fourth-year medical student who is underrepresented in medicine enrolled in a US medical school. We highly encourage third and fourth years to apply to use the experience to work on publications and clinic work.

    • Must be a US citizen or have a permanent resident visa. The Academy recognizes the following racial groups as underrepresented in the field of dermatology (as related to the US population).

    • Upon completion of the mentorship program, participants are required to complete an online survey evaluating the program and including a brief description of future plans to pursue dermatology.

    First/second-year medical students:

    • A copy of your CV/Curriculum Vitae.

    • Letter of good standing from medical school.

    • MCAT scores.

    • Medical school GPA (if n/a then a copy of college GPA, both overall and science; pass/fail grades, class rank or status, or grades to date).

    • Two professional letters of recommendation. Letters must come from professors or a dermatologist physician you have worked with who can attest to your moral character. Letters should not be submitted by family members or employers.

    Third/fourth year medical students:

    • A copy of your CV/Curriculum Vitae.

    • Current medical school transcript.

    • USLME Scores (Step 1 Exam).

    • Medical school GPA (if n/a then a copy of college GPA, both overall and science; pass/fail grades, class rank or status, or grades to date).

    • Two professional letters of recommendation. Letters must come from professors or a dermatologist physician you have worked with who can attest to your moral character. Letters should not be submitted by family members or employers.

    View the Diversity Mentorship Program's frequently asked questions

    For additional questions about the Diversity Mentorship Program, please contact:
    Brittany Whaley
    Phone: (847) 240-1476
    Email: bwhaley@aad.org

    Frequently asked questions

    If an applicant is not chosen, are there other mentorship experiences available in dermatology?

    Yes, he or she may reapply the following year or may do an unsponsored mentorship with a physician of his or her choice. Unsponsored mentorships are not affiliated with the Academy's Diversity Mentorship Program.

    How do I select a mentor for consideration if they are not listed on the diversity list?

    If the mentor is not listed on the diversity mentoring list, the physician member can be added by creating a mentor profile.

    Whom should letters of recommendation come from and what should they include?

    We request two professional letters of recommendation be provided from professors or dermatologist physicians you have worked with who can attest to your moral character. Letters should not be submitted by family members or employers.

    The letters can be uploaded with the online application or sent directly to:

    Brittany Whaley, Senior Specialist, Membership Programs
    American Academy of Dermatology
    9500 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
    Rosemont, IL 60018

    Email: bwhaley@aad.org
    Fax: (847) 240-0309

    If a student already is participating in a medical school program related to dermatology, can the Academy’s Diversity Mentorship program be combined?

    No, the Academy’s Diversity Mentorship program cannot be combined with any other programs.

    How are the mentorship recipients selected?

    Applications are reviewed by a group of volunteer dermatologists who serve on the Academy's Diversity Committee. The committee's mission is to promote diversity awareness within the specialty of dermatology and increase diversity within the Academy among members, leaders, volunteers, and speakers.

    When will applicants be notified of their status?

    Applicants will be notified of their status by January 20 of the year the award will be granted.

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