MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (11/16/2022)Published in JAMA Dermatology, University of Minnesota Medical School researchers found persistent diversity gaps in the dermatology workforce pipeline. The cross-sectional study also found an overall lack of interest in careers focused on underserved care among medical students pursuing dermatology as a medical specialty

“Addressing health inequities and improving care for underserved patients is the responsibility of all dermatologists,” said Matthew Mansh, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and dermatologist with M Health Fairview. “Efforts are needed to increase diversity and interest in careers focused on underserved care among trainees in the dermatology workforce pipeline."

The study used a nationally representative sample of more than 58,000 graduating medical students in the United States to assess the diversity and intended career goals of those pursuing dermatology. Researchers found that females identifying as a race, ethnicity or sexual minority underrepresented in medicine (UIM) and in the dermatology workforce pipeline relative to other specialties. 

Additionally, students pursuing dermatology were less likely to intend to care for underserved populations, practice in underserved areas and public health. Medical students pursuing careers in dermatology from diverse backgrounds — including females, UIM students and sexual minority students — however, had increased odds of caring for underserved populations and practicing public health in their careers. 

Researchers say efforts are needed to increase racial, ethnic and sexual orientation diversity and interest in careers focused on underserved care and public health among medical students pursuing careers in dermatology. 

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