The Impact of Skin Color and Ethnicity on Clinical Diagnosis and Research


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 2: Thursday, November 12, 2020

Time: 1:00–2:15 PM ET / 10:00–11:15 AM PT

Hair Disorders in People of Color

Register Now ↓

Define and describe the pathogenesis and research of the diagnosis and treatment of scarring and nonscarring hair disorders.

Illustrate how health disparities, structural racism, and implicit bias manifest in health education, diagnosis and treatment, and research regarding hair disorders.

Develop awareness, sensitivity, and competency in the cultural, socioeconomic, and health impact of hair in people of color.

Identify funding resources to increase the amount of research and training of residents in pathology and the use of diagnostic training tools.

Moderator: Amy McMichael, MD
Panelists: Ncoza Dlova, MBChB, FCDerm, PhD and Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH 

Session 3: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Time: 1:00–2:15 PM ET / 10:00–11:15 AM PT

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.

Pigmentary Disorders and Keloids

Define and discuss the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of pigmentary disorders, including vitiligo.

Define and discuss the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scarring.

Illustrate how keloids and pigmentary disorders have psychological, socioeconomic, and cultural impact, and increased health disparities in people of color.

Summarize global scientific literature on research and newer therapeutic options in pigmentary disorders.

Moderator: Pearl E. Grimes, MD
Panelists: Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD, and Donald A. Glass II, MD, PhD

Register Now ↓

Session 4: Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Time: 1:00–2:15 PM ET / 10:00–11:15 AM PT

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.

Covid-19 Comorbidities and Cutaneous Manifestations of Systemic Diseases in Adults and Children

Moderator: [TBD]
Panelists: Lynn McKinley-Grant, MD, FAAD, Candrice R. Heath, MDand Ginette A. Okoye, MD, FAAD

Register Now ↓

Describe the influence of skin color and ethnicity on implicit bias in the physical exam and impact on health disparities.

Recognize and diagnose hypoxemia, anemia, erythema, and other systemic color changes in the skin that reflect health and disease in darker skin types.

Describe and identify the skin manifestations of Covid-19 and Covid-related comorbidities in adults.

Describe and identify skin manifestations of Covid-19 and related comorbidities in children.

Explain the need for awareness of cultural sensitivities and the need for cultural competency training in all curriculum.

Propose skin of color dermatology curriculum to train first-line providers to recognize the cutaneous manifestations of systemic diseases.


As of Tuesday, March 10th, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Health System have recommended against holding gatherings of over 100 people or more. In following with that guidance and in the interest of promoting good public health practices, we regret to announce we are indefinitely postponing Health Equity Week 2020 events. We are working to find alternate dates to reschedule the weeks' events and will communicate to you once that is finalized. We will provide you with first priority opportunity to participate in the poster session and showcase your work at the rescheduled event.  

Additional Upcoming Events