Everyday Health: Too Many Doctors Are Misdiagnosing Disease on Skin of Color

By Salma Abdelnour Gilman (SEP 27, 2021)

Physicians in the United States aren’t adequately trained to recognize skin symptoms in BIPOC patients. Here’s how innovators are taking on the issue.


Medical training that places white patients front and center is another problem — and when it comes to diseases that affect the skin, problems are often hiding in plain sight. For instance, an analysis of dermatology textbooks, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in April 2020, found that the percentage of images of dark skin ranged from 4 to 18 percent.

Many of the textbooks had zero images of skin of color with psoriasis, dermatitis, or acne.


“We’re focused on all kinds of bias — racial and gender bias — and the reasons doctors make mistakes,” says [VisualDx co-founder and CEO] Art Papier, MD.

Papier says he was inspired to create VisualDx after witnessing a misdiagnosis early in his career. When he was in training as a dermatology resident more than 20 years ago, he was in the ER when a patient with dark skin was brought into the intensive care unit with a serious rash caused by a rare condition called Stevens-Johnson syndrome.


Read the full story on Everyday Health.

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