The rash on your skin looks different on mine

By: Alyssa Gerth, AT, OMS III

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUHCOM)

Every Wednesday from 7am-12pm, the third- and fourth-year students, as well as the family medicine residents, attend didactics at the teaching hospital where I am rotating. Each hour there is a different topic with a different educator. It is a breath of fresh air to be back in the classroom four hours a week to be educated on the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices and perspectives of the experienced physicians and health educators on the hospital staff.
This particular morning started off with a basic dermatology lecture presented by a very accomplished and well-published, board-certified dermatologist. Of the forty PowerPoint slides showing pictures of humans with rashes and brief explanations, there was not one adult of color represented. It is important for any dermatologic lesion to be shown on different skin tones because lesions can look different on darker skin tones. If medical students are only taught how to identify dermatologic lesions on white skin, this can lead to misdiagnoses, delayed treatment, and even premature death in patients with darker skin, especially in failure to properly recognize skin cancer and metastatic disease. Dermatology educators have a responsibility to represent dermatologic lesions on different skin tones in medical education to help decrease the health disparities that we see in America today…..

 

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JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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About the Author: JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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