Assessment of US Dermatology Resident Trainees’ Diagnosis of Skin Pathology for Skin of Color

The authors found that dermatology residents misdiagnosed more malignant lesions in skin of color compared to lighter skin.”

— Alissa Jeanfreau

NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA, July 18, 2023/ — Inequities exist in the treatment of skin cancer for individuals with skin of color. Studies have demonstrated that skin cancer in this population is diagnosed at a later stage and therefore has worse outcomes. If the diagnostic skills of dermatology residents can be improved for skin of color, then skin cancer can be diagnosed and treated much earlier.

In a study in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine®, Deborah Hilton, MD and her co-authors conducted a survey to explore dermatologists in training ability to identify skin pathology among patients with skin of color. They found that dermatology residents misdiagnosed more malignant lesions in skin of color compared to lighter skin. They also showed that in skin of color, residents misdiagnosed malignant lesions more so than non-malignant lesions.

Skin cancers are the most prevalent type of cancer worldwide. Common subtypes include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. In skin of color, skin cancer is less common than in light-skinned individuals. Dermatology residency programs have significantly increased their educational curricula for skin of color and this study demonstrates that the effort should be continued. Clinicians should also have a high clinical suspicion for malignant skin cancerous lesions in skin of color.

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine® is a peer-reviewed online medical journal that is the official journal of The National Society for Cutaneous Medicine. The mission of SKIN is to provide an enhanced and accelerated route to disseminate new dermatologic knowledge for all aspects of cutaneous disease.

For more details, please visit or contact [email protected].

Danny Zakria
National Society for Cutaneous Medicine
email us here

Originally published at

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