Dermatology Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Our Department's DEI Mission

The U-M Department of Dermatology is committed to achieving greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our team and everyday work. We acknowledge our role as advocates for meaningful social change towards a just and equitable healthcare system.  Our commitment to DEI is at the foundation of our efforts to advance dermatology through the highest standard of patient care, education, and research.

Our DEI Committee

Led by Dr. Severine Cao, Assistant Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, our DEI Committee defines DEI goals by identifying areas of improvement within the department and takes action towards these goals. The committee is inclusive of all faculty, staff, and learners in the Department of Dermatology and meets on a quarterly basis. Members have opportunity to serve in leadership roles on various DEI subcommittees.

Our DEI Committee works to fulfill our DEI mission with a focus on the following aims:

  • Fostering a culturally sensitive and inclusive work environment in which each individual feels that they belong
  • Providing equitable care that meets the needs of our diverse community, recognizing the far-reaching impact of social determinants of health
  • Empowering our team to manage skin disease across all skin colors and for patients of all backgrounds
  • Building a workforce of diverse backgrounds, including those that are underrepresented in medicine, and providing the support and mentorship each needs to reach their full potential
  • Championing inclusive research efforts that strengthen our efforts to provide equitable care and dismantle health disparities
  • Working together to challenge bias and discrimination affecting individuals, communities and systems within and surrounding the workplace

DEI Dermatology Education

DEI themes are woven throughout the Dermatology residency curriculum. Our resident didactic curriculum features faculty and guest lectures on DEI topics. Faculty and residents also participate in our quarterly DEI Discussions (formerly known as our Anti-Racism Book Club), which support discourse on DEI and Anti-Racism in medicine and dermatology.

We emphasize inclusion of skin of color images in all lectures. Faculty give specialized lectures on skin of color dermatology, including Skin of Color Kodachromes and lectures on topics of health disparities in dermatology.

Each year, our department hosts a leading dermatologist as our Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Visiting Professor. MLK Visiting Professors provide lectures on topics of health equity, skin of color, and other DEI work in dermatology.

In addition to the above, frequent content review for opportunities to be more inclusive and for new DEI-related content is prioritized and welcomed.


Recent MLK Visiting Professors:

  • 2023 - Ginette Okeye, MD, Professor and Chair of Dermatology, Howard University College of Medicine: "URM Faculty" and "Follicular Disorders in Men"
  • 2022 - Jenna C. Lester, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine: "Beyond the Diagnosis"
  • 2021 - Susan C. Taylor, MD, Sandra J. Lazarus Associate Professor of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine: “How to Approach Hair and Scalp Disorders in Skin of Color Patients” & “Research: A Tool for Mentorship and Sponsorship of UIM Medical Students”
  • 2020 - Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc, Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California: “Diversity in Dermatology: Our Past, Present, and Future”
  • 2019 - Sandy Tsao, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School: “Fifty Shades of Brown – Science, Symptoms and Strategies for Acquired Pigmented Disorders”
  • 2018 - Amy McMichael, MD, Professor and Chair of Dermatology, Wake Forest School of Medicine: “Updates in Hair Loss”
  • 2017 - Luis Diaz, MD, C.E. Wheeler Jr. Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina School of Medicine: “Milestones in Bullous Pemphigoid”

Recent DEI Discussions Topics:

  • Spring 2023 – Excerpts from “Disability Visibility”, edited by Alice Wong
  • Winter 2023 – Curbsiders Podcast: “LGBT health in primary care”
  • Summer 2023- Montenegro, “My name is not Interpreter”, JAMA 2016
  • Spring 2022 and Spring 2023- Training in responding to Patient-Initiated Harassment, hosted by Drs. Fraley, Sheffield, and Houchens in the Department of Internal Medicine
  • Winter 2022 – “70 Acres in Chicago: A Documentary Film about Cabrini Green”
  • Fall 2021 - Ware et al, "Racial Limitations of Fitzpatrick Skin Type", Cutis 2020
  • Summer 2021 - Still Processing Podcast: "Asian Americans Talk about Racism, and We Listen - Part 1"
  • Spring 2021 - "Caste: The Origins of our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Winter 2020 - “Acres of Skin: Medical Abuse Behind Bars" by Allen Hornblum
  • Fall 2020 - "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Summer 2020 - "How to be An Anti-Racist" by Ibram X. Kendi

Outreach to the Community

U-M Dermatology faculty, residents and medical students volunteer to provide care to those who are under- or uninsured at free dermatology clinics, such as the Dermatology Hope Clinic hosted quarterly at the Taubman Center and the U-M Migrant Farm Workers Clinic a mobile clinic delivering care to migrant workers at local farms where they are housed. In addition, the Department has organized and participated in local events and programs, including free skin cancer screenings, to connect with community members about skin cancer prevention and skin health.

Outreach to Students

Dermatology Diversity Pathways Program

Led by U-M Dermatology residents, the Dermatology Diversity Pathways Program is a mentorship program for medical students who are interested in dermatology. The program aims to increase the diversity of our field and is open to students of all backgrounds including those that are underrepresented in the dermatology specialty. Medical students are paired with dermatology residents and faculty. Students receive longitudinal mentorship and have opportunities for shadowing, participating in skills workshops, and attending guest lectures such as our Dermatology Pathways Lectureship.

Health Equity Visiting Clerkship

Medical students in their third or fourth year with an interest in health equity are encouraged to apply for the Health Equity Visiting Clerkship. The program is sponsored by the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion and provides a funded 4-week rotation with our department. More information can be found at the following link: Health Equity Visiting Clerkship

Middle/High School Outreach and Mentorship

U-M Dermatology organizes and participants in several student outreach events to foster an early interest in dermatology, with the goal of diversifying our workforce.
These include:

Michigan Medicine Office for Health Equity and Inclusion- Programs and Events

Healthcare Equity and Quality Scholars Program (HEQSP)

A 10-month certificate program designed to further develop U-M house officers as leaders and change agents for healthcare equity. 

Health Equity Leadership Program

This annual event promotes the development of leadership skills in U-M medical students interested in health equity, diversity, and inclusion work. 

Specialty Speed Dating at the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) national meeting

Michigan Medicine departments along with the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion participate in a daylong event for medical or pre-med students at the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) national meeting that supplies information sessions and clinical simulations. This event supplies opportunity for students to interact with M-M physicians from various medical specialties. 

Youth Summit at the Big House

This event aims to engage middle school students from schools across SE Michigan with diverse Michigan Medicine healthcare teams, and provides opportunities for students who are under-represented in the health sciences to visit our campus and engage with practitioners through hands-on simulations, personal connections, and curated resources in preparation for medical career paths. This event take place annually in the spring.

Michigan Health Sciences Summer Institute (MHSSI).

Michigan Health Sciences Summer Institute (MHSSI) is comprised of three academies that expose learners to health sciences careers and health disparities; foster leadership development; enhance academic skills; and prepare them for admission to medical school. This program runs annually in the summer.

Other Resources

Skin of Color Library Guide

Partnering with the Department of Dermatology, U-M Library Staff created and maintain a library guide to serve as a resource for teaching, learning, research, and clinical practice related to skin of color in dermatology (

Michigan Medicine Office of Health Equity and Inclusion

The Office for Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI) develops mechanisms for inclusion, diversity and cultural sensitivity among faculty, students and staff at Michigan Medicine. OHEI advances clinical care for under-served patient populations through research and education.

University of Michigan Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) leads and supports university-wide initiatives focused on the recruitment of a diverse faculty, staff and student body, while fostering an inclusive and equitable community at the University of Michigan. ODEI also engages surrounding communities in mission-focused, mutually beneficial partnerships. The vision of the office is to envision a diverse University where all thrive and excel.