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American Academy of Dermatology collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health and the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson will double representation in next 5 years.
ROSEMONT, Ill. (March 23, 2022) — People of color often face unequal access to health care and experience poorer outcomes across the health care landscape. In the field of dermatology, these patients often don’t know where to turn for skin health advice and are 50% less likely than other patients to see a dermatologist for the same conditions. The specialty of dermatology has a powerful opportunity to advance care and make a positive impact on the lives of these patients by inspiring a new, diverse generation of dermatologists to bridge this gap, improve health care equity in the specialty, and ensure quality care for patients of color. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health* and the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson** is launching “Pathways: Inclusivity in Dermatology” to increase the number of practicing dermatologists in the U.S. who are from the Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, which are underrepresented minorities (URM) in medicine.
Pathways will work to create a more diverse and inclusive specialty by engaging Black, Latino, and Indigenous students from high school age through medical school in programming that builds the skills, knowledge, and interest to pursue a career in dermatology. Through scholarship offerings, skills workshops, mentorship programs and leadership training, the initiative aims to increase the number of dermatology residents from Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities from approximately 100 residents to 250, or by over 50%, by 2027. Dermatology is one of the more competitive medical specialties, and historically it has not drawn a large number of applicants from URM groups. According to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2020, just 65 of the 796 applicants for dermatology residencies were Black or African American, and only 39 were Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin.
“Dermatology is an incredible specialty, one that allows us to have an immediate and tangible impact on a patient’s quality of life and sense of self,” said AAD President Ken Tomecki, MD, FAAD. “Through the Pathways program, the AAD and its members will work to ensure that all patients feel welcome and understood, and that medical students from diverse backgrounds see a place for themselves in this dynamic and challenging field.”
“We believe it is vitally important to create a more inclusive, representative approach to addressing people’s skin health needs, including enabling access to culturally competent care,” said Duda Kertesz, president, U.S. Skin Health at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. “We are optimistic that this collaboration will open up career opportunities for underrepresented minorities in medicine and foster an environment in which all patients feel supported in their skin health journey.” “To address health disparities in dermatology, we aim to meet patients where they are with personalized care that is culturally sensitive and responds to real-world experiences,” said David Jimenez, President, Janssen Immunology, Janssen Biotech, Inc. “The Pathways collaboration is a concerted effort to build the next generation of dermatologists of color and our hope is to inspire students to pursue careers in the field where they are uniquely positioned to make a tremendous difference in the lives of people struggling with skin health conditions.”
The Pathways initiative has the potential to substantially reduce barriers to dermatology care given that various studies have linked increased diversity in the physician workforce to improved health care and outcomes for people of color. According to “Increasing racial and ethnic diversity in dermatology: A call to action,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, diversity in the physician workforce improves outcomes not only for people of color, but for all patients. Studies reveal that physicians of color are more likely to see non-white patients and provide a disproportionate share of care to underserved populations. This strongly suggests that increasing the number of practicing dermatologists can help reduce health care disparities.
For more information about the Pathways: Inclusivity in Dermatology program, please visit www.aad.org/pathways.
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About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).
*Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health is a division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.
**Janssen Biotech, Inc. is one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson