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

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis

Geospatial analysis of access to dermatology care in Los Angeles County: a cross sectional study


Geographic maldistribution of dermatologists contributes to disparities in access to dermatologic care. We aimed to investigate the geographic distribution of, and differences in wait times for medical dermatology services in Los Angeles County (LAC). We placed phone calls to 251 dermatology practices in LAC to ask for a new patient appointment for a changing mole. We found West LAC (Service Planning Area [SPA] 5) had the highest number of dermatologists and South LAC (SPA 6) had the lowest (26.1 versus 0 per 100,000 residents, P=0.01). Service Planning Area 6 has a higher non-White, uninsured, and impoverished population than SPA 5. Dermatology appointment wait times and Medicaid acceptance varied between SPAs but was not statistically significant (P=0.37 and P=0.20, respectively). Medicaid-accepting practices had a significantly longer mean wait time for an appointment than practices that did not accept Medicaid (26.1 versus 15.1 days, P=0.003). Regions with predominantly non-White, Spanish-speaking, and medically underinsured residents were found to be disproportionately lacking in dermatologists across LAC, which may contribute to impaired access to dermatology services in LAC.

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