Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis

Implementation of a dermatology skin of color educational module for medical students


Research in dermatology education highlights the lack of skin of color (SOC) instruction for medical students, leading to concerning healthcare outcomes. Because of the already limited opportunity for students to have dedicated teaching in pathophysiology, management, and treatment of dermatologic diseases in medical school, we developed an educational module that addresses these gaps. We created a one-hour virtual lecture for medical students focused on common skin diseases tested on the United States Medical Licensing Examination with visual images across all skin types. A questionnaire was administered before and after the educational module to assess outcomes comparing disease identification in lighter (Fitzpatrick scale I-III) versus darker (Fitzpatrick scale IV-VI) skin tones and to determine medical school student attitudes. An analysis of 43 examination scores before, and after attending the educational module determined rosacea, psoriasis, and basal cell carcinoma to be conditions in SOC patients that demonstrated the most significant improvement (47.3%, 54.9%, and 30.8%, respectively). Our results also highlighted worse performance outcomes for diseases in SOC in the pre-examination questionnaire. Thus, our study indicates that a concise education module focused on disease presentations inclusive of all skin types may efficiently increase students' ability to identify diseases commonly misdiagnosed in the clinical setting.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View