1. How does Penn Dermatology define URM? 

Under-represented in Medicine (URM) refers to individuals from a background that is traditionally underrepresented in medicine, including but not limited to racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, identify as LGBTQ+, have disabilities, are first generation in the United States or first in their immediate family to attend college, or who otherwise would increase the diversity and inclusivity of our student and resident/fellow populations. 

  1. What efforts is Penn Dermatology making to increase the diversity of the incoming resident cohort? How holistic is the review process? 

Penn Dermatology does not have a cutoff score for NBME Step1 or Step2 scores. All applications are thoroughly reviewed by four faculty members. We offer a multitude of paid opportunities specifically designed for students who are underrepresented in medicine, including clinical (e.g., Penn URM Visiting Clerkship Program), research (e.g., Skin of Color Pre-Residency Research Fellowship), and mentorship (e.g., AAD and SOCS mentorship awards). In 2022, we accepted our first resident into our newly designed “Diversity and Community Engagement Track,” which is a unique residency position aimed at addressing social determinants of health, engaging with and empowering under-served communities, and promoting diversity in dermatology. 

  1. What type of DEI efforts are supported by the faculty/staff? As a prospective resident, will I have exposure to curriculum and clinical opportunities that expand my knowledge and skills to better serve diverse patient populations?  

At Penn Dermatology, we are committed to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the resident curriculum and clinical opportunities. Below are a few examples of the many ways in which our department is committed to DEI efforts both within our department and within the field of dermatology.  

  • Health Equity Rounds. Example: A Panel Discussion on “Anti-Asian Violence: In History and Now” including a firsthand account of Japanese American concentration camps in the US 
  • A new resident track: “Diversity and Community Engagement” 
  • Patient-centered care: 
    • Guidelines for faculty, staff, and residents for more inclusive patient encounters (e.g., use of pronouns in introductions; Epic documentation; iPledge accomodations)
    • Medicaid Pharmacy Concierge Program: providing patients on Medicaid with a more streamlined process for obtaining dermatologic medications 
  • Dermatology Textbooks on Skin of Color authored by our faculty: 
    • Dermatology Atlas for Skin of Color –authored by Dr. William James 
    • Dermatology for Skin of Color –authored by Dr. Susan Taylor 
  • Conferences  
    • Meeting the Challenge Summit: Diversity in Dermatology Clinical Trials speaker: Dr. Joel Gelfand 
    • Funding for Skin of Color Pre-Residency Research fellows to present at and attend dermatologic conferences 
  • Committees 
    • Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania (CPUP) Committee on Anti-Racism 
    • DEI Committee 
    • LGBTQ Health Advisory Committee 
  • Didactics 
    • Incorporation images with SOC when teaching/discussing differential diagnoses/unkowns 
    • Incorporation of social determinants of health and barriers to care 


  1. Are faculty, staff, trainees encouraged to participate in local community engagement? 

Absolutely! Our faculty, staff, residents, research fellows, and medical students interested in dermatology are all encouraged to volunteer and engage with our local community. Whether you find our residents, staff, and attendings at our local free clinic at Puentes de Salud, leading suturing workshops at SNMA conferences, or volunteering at a local food pantry, Penn Dermatology is committed to serving our patients and community members. Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities. GET INVOLVED

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