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Dermatology Online Journal

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Representation of Fitzpatrick skin type in dermatology textbooks compared with national percentiles


As time progresses, more patients with skin of color will be seen by dermatologists. To meet the needs of the ever-changing population, medical education needs to analyze how residents are trained in recognizing dermatological disorders in patients with skin of color. The aim of this study was to analyze dermatology textbooks to evaluate how well skin of color patients are represented compared to the current national distributions. The most common skin types depicted in the textbooks were Fitzpatrick skin types II and III, whereas the least common skin types depicted were skin types V and VI. There was a significant difference between a national distribution of skin types when compared to photographs in each of the textbooks (P<0.001). These findings emphasize the need to better represent patients with skin of color in medical textbooks.

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