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In this MD Newsline exclusive interview with dermatologist Dr. Valerie Harvey, we discuss how to address implicit bias in dermatology.

MD Newsline:

How can dermatologists address implicit bias in their practice? How might their doing so improve healthcare for underserved communities? 

Dr. Valerie Harvey:

“We need to improve our cultural competence and implicit bias training for dermatologists. As a specialty, dermatology lags behind other specialties in terms of how diverse we are as a workforce. For example, only 3% of dermatologists are African American, and only 4% of dermatologists are Hispanic American. Compared to the U.S. population as a whole, these minority groups are disproportionately underrepresented in the field of dermatology.

Moreover, patients of color often seek out dermatologists of color to care for them because they want to know that their dermatologist can understand and address their needs. So, we need to do a lot of hard work as a specialty to ensure that all dermatologists can adequately care for all of their patients, regardless of their racial/ethnic backgrounds.”

 

Responses have been condensed and lightly edited.

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