The Skin of Color Society, New England Journal of Medicine Group and VisualDX Collaboration: The Impact of Skin Color and Ethnicity on Clinical Diagnosis and Research

October 30, 2020
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We are thrilled to be a part of a groundbreaking virtual series in collaboration with the New England Journal of Medicine Group (NEJM Group) and VisualDx, which brings together Skin of Color Society experts, thought leaders and other advocates in collaborative discussions addressing issues of health disparities, structural racism and medicine, while examining specific dermatologic diseases affecting patients of color. This informative series consists of four free and open educational webinars occurring from October 28-December 2, 2020, with recordings of each session available after each program.

This thought-provoking series is grounded in the reality that implicit bias and structural racism play a central role in the development of health care disparities. A critically important issue in medicine is the misdiagnosis of disease in people with darker skin types due to implicit bias and the lack of awareness among physicians in recognizing different disease patterns. In addition to dermatologists, clinicians in primary care, emergency medicine, hospital medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and other medical specialties can deliver improved care if they can recognize and diagnose medical conditions based on skin findings in patients of color.

This four-part series aims to improve diagnosis in people of color, describe pathogenesis and treatment of diseases, develop cultural competency, and impact change in health care policy to reduce racial bias in medical practice and medical research. Providing this education and this forum for conversation can ultimately help reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for underrepresented minority populations.

The inaugural webinar that livestreamed on October 28 focused on Structural Racism and Racial Bias in Medicine, and featured SOCS leaders Susan C. Taylor, MD, Henry W. Lim, MD, and Maritza I. Perez, MD as panelists with journalist Susan Saulny as moderator. For anyone interested in better understanding the history and evolution of skin of color dermatology as well as the role dermatology can play in eliminating racial bias in medicine, we wholeheartedly encourage you to watch the recording, which can be accessed here:

Previous Session:
Session 1: Structural Racism and Racial Bias in Medicine
Tuesday, October 28, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:15 ET/10:00-11:15 AM PT
Link to recorded webinar:

Future Sessions include:
Session 2: Hair Disorders in People of Color
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Time: 1:00–2:15 PM ET / 10:00–11:15 AM PT
Moderator: Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH
Panelists: Ncoza Dlova, MBChB, FCDerm, PhD and Amy McMichael, MD, FAAD

Panelists will define and discuss hair disorders in people of color. External and systemic diseases can cause hair loss. Misdiagnosis often occurs when hair loss is considered cosmetic and not a medical problem. Ethnicity affects the significance and cultural meaning of hair loss, and physicians need to know how each patient is being affected. Hair disorders constitute a significant health problem and affect health care access because of the length and complexity of the visits.

Session 3: Pigmentary Disorders and Keloids
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Time: 1:00–2:15 PM ET / 10:00–11:15 AM PT
Moderator: Pearl E. Grimes, MD
Panelists: Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD, and Donald A. Glass II, MD, PhD
Panelists (Patient Stories): Dhaval Desai, MD, and Titilola Sode, MD

Pigmentary disorders and keloids can be signs of systemic disease and can cause significant psychological impact and social ramifications. Panelists will discuss the breadth of pigmentary disorders, including vitiligo, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and utilize global scientific literature to update the audience on newer therapeutic options.

Session 4: Covid-19 Comorbidities and Cutaneous Manifestations of Systemic Diseases in Adults and Children
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Time: 1:00–2:15 PM ET / 10:00–11:15 AM PT
Moderator: Kimberly Manning, MD
Panelists: Lynn McKinley-Grant, MD, FAAD, Candrice R. Heath, MD, and Jenna Lester, MD, FAAD

Panelists will focus on the challenges physicians face in recognizing systemic diseases in melanin-rich skin types. There can be delays and misdiagnosis of life-threatening diseases when color changes related to the disease are not recognized. The skin signs of Covid-19 comorbidities (i.e., diabetes and pulmonary disease) will be discussed in adults and children.

This unprecedented event series is brought to you by with in-kind support provided by the Skin of Color Society, NEJM Group, VisualDx, and Zoom Video Communications. For more details about program content and to register for future sessions, visit: and