Leaders from academic dermatology and education are joining together to create a comprehensive dermatology atlas to address what they say has become a well-documented gap in dermatology education. The atlas will display side-by-side images of the most common dermatology conditions in the full spectrum of skin types. “Dermatology: A Diverse and Inclusive Color Atlas,” will be developed by co-editors Misty Eleryan, MD, MS and Adam Friedman, MD and published by SanovaWorks and Educational Testing & Assessment Systems.

“To effectively diagnose and manage skin diseases in all patients, dermatologists need to be fluent in the diverse array of clinical presentations of even the most common skin diseases in all skin types,” says Dr. Friedman, professor and interim chair of dermatology at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “I hope this atlas is one of many initiatives that will ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care.”

“As physicians, we take an oath to do no harm to our patients; however, we are potentially harming patients of color by not adequately educating ourselves on the variations of presentations of common dermatoses on all skin types,” says Dr. Eleryan, a micrographic surgery and dermatologic oncology fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Our atlas will fill that void and hopefully assist in closing the gap in health disparities among patients of color, who are often misdiagnosed or rendered diagnoses very late in the disease process."

In addition to the co-editors, an advisory council of thought-leaders from across the country and multiple academic institutions will guide atlas development and editing. “We have identified both emerging and established experts who have a proven track record in and a passion for diversity and inclusion in dermatology,” Dr. Friedman adds.

Dermatologists trained in medical photography will take high-quality images for the atlas at four sites across the U.S. The atlas is planned to be available as an eBook in winter 2020/2021.