Did you know of all board-certified dermatologists, only 3% identify as black, and 4.2% identify as Hispanic?
According to the Clinics in Dermatology review, dermatology was ranked the second least diverse medical specialty in 2020 and is historically known to not receive as many applicants from underrepresented minorities (URM). It is widely believed that this is due to barriers presented throughout medical school and training.
In an effort to help close the diversity gap and create a more inclusive field, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare was honored to host their 2nd annual AAD Skincare Representation Initiative. This initiative sponsors three POC dermatology students or residents to attend the American Academy of Dermatology's (AAD) Annual Meeting, which is the largest dermatology conference in the United States. As part of the initiative, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare covers the sponsorship winners’ conference entrance fees, transportation, and room & board so recipients can gain access to educational and networking opportunities with some of the top leaders and experts in the field.
This year’s AAD conference was held in New Orleans and featured a great mix of educational sessions, new cutting edge technologies, and intimate seminars.
Meet the Winners of the 2023 AAD Skincare Representation Initiative:
Esther is a PGY2 dermatology resident at Brown University's Rhode Island Hospital and co-founder of the Skin of Color Community (SOCC), a non-profit organization that provides free, accessible dermatologic education to people of color. Her favorite part of the AAD conference was networking with other POC dermatologists. Esther says, “They all welcomed me with open arms, and served as a reminder of the amazing warmth that exists in the field.”
Uchenna will be starting his residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Montefiore Medical Center this summer. His favorite part of the conference was meeting other residents from across the country and learning about their experiences at their respective programs. He also loved getting to meet and hear from dermatologists whom he has followed for years. Uchenna says, “There were so many great sessions where I learned about new cutting-edge research and clinical practice pearls that I look forward to incorporating into my future practice as a dermatologist.”
Osas is a third-year medical student at the University of Missouri's School of Medicine. The highlight of his trip was attending the Skin of Color Scientific Symposium. He was particularly inspired by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and Dr. Susan Taylor's speeches at the conference. Osas says, "Their words really resonated with me and made me feel like I have what it takes to make it in dermatology."
2023 AAD Weekend Itinerary:
19th Annual Skin of Color Scientific Symposium
Right off the plane, we hit the ground running and headed to the 19th Annual Skin of Color Scientific Symposium. The Skin of Color Society (SOCS) is an organization that is dedicated to advancing skin of color dermatology and spreading awareness about skin conditions related to melanated skin. This year’s program featured a variety of speakers, interactive panels, and presentations that covered critical topics such as diversity in clinical trials, advancements in skin cancer treatment, dismantling racism, and the importance of mentorship for POC residents. It was a jampacked day filled with moving speakers and valuable insights about the importance of advocacy and education around skin of color that left everyone feeling inspired and ready for the weekend ahead.
AAD Annual Meeting
The second half of the trip was dedicated to the AAD annual meeting. This year's conference was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and attracted over 8,000 medical professionals from across the world. During the weekend-long conference, the sponsorship winners could be found sitting in on expert-led talks, attending networking events, and/or exploring the exhibit hall that featured over 350 booths from different skincare, pharmaceutical, and skin tech brands. These interactive booths were the go-to place to learn about and test new product launches, skin tech and tools.
Dinner with the AAD Sponsorship Winners and DDG Team
The trip would not be complete without a creole dinner with the 2023 sponsorship winners and the DDG team. Since the AAD conference is packed with educational and networking events, we wanted to give the winners a chance to decompress and get to know the DDG team over traditional New Orleans cuisine. Trust us when we say a lot of yummy seafood was consumed that weekend! We loved getting to know the sponsorship winners and their reasons for going into dermatology. It was the perfect wrap to a successful trip!
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