Kawasumi & Tuttle

Enhancing Diversity in Dermatology

Recognizing the need for the field of dermatology to better reflect all of the communities it serves, the Dermatology Foundation created an introduction to the specialty for students who are considered underrepresented in biomedical research. The Diversity Research Supplement Awards (DRSA) enable past DF awardees to support the participation of medical students in the completion of a research project. Participants report the impact of this exposure and investment is highly encouraging, and the majority have subsequently matched for a dermatology residency.

Diversity by the Numbers | Since 2018 ...


awarded by the DF in financial support

medical students have gained research experience


of medical students have gone on to a dermatology residency


of our mentor / recipients are repeat participants

Q: What has this experience meant to you personally?

“This experience was invaluable....I thoroughly enjoyed the research experience and am inspired to pursue a dermatology career that involves translational research.”

— Fritzlaine Roche

“As an underrepresented minority in medicine, the opportunity to become involved in research within dermatology that focuses on racial and ethnic minorities was invaluable. My participation in this research experience has only further fueled my interest in dermatology and not only do I look forward to continuing to pursue this career path, but I feel more empowered to do so.”

— Taylor Jamerson

“This program was very helpful in solidifying my interest in dermatology and providing me with important research skills... I feel much more confident now in my understanding of academic medical research and career trajectory.”

— Fatuma-Ayaan B. Rinderknecht

“The DRSA provided me with the opportunity to find mentors in dermatology who were genuinely interested in my personal and professional development. I fostered meaningful and lasting relationships...and gained more confidence in my abilities as a researcher and future dermatologist!”

— Jessica B. Brown-Korsah

“Participating in the [program] has confirmed my interests in pursuing a career in dermatology and getting involved with health disparities research in the future. I also value the mentorship I received this summer and hope to continue to foster mentor-mentee relationships that promote diversity in medicine throughout my training and career.”

— Christine C. Akoh

“I remember the moment I opened the dermatopathology textbook [my mentor]
recommended I use as reference. As I glanced through its pages, I thought to myself, 'This is exactly the knowledge I want to dedicate my life to learning and applying!' Working on this project further confirmed my passion for dermatology.”

— Jorge A. Lazaro

“Participation in this program has been instrumental in my professional development and in my aspiration to practice as an academic dermatologist... this experience has provided me with a strong clinical research foundation that will support that goal.”

— Shannon Zullo

Apply for a Diversity Research Supplement Award

Former DF award recipients can apply for this award, along with an eligible medical student recruited from their institution or another accredited U.S. medical school. The Diversity Research Supplement Award provides $5,000 to support the participation of a student belonging to one or more groups considered to be underrepresented in biomedical research. Expenses may include, but are not limited to, travel, lodging and a salary stipend for the student. Award funds may not be used for indirect expenses and are payable to the applicant’s institution.

Applications for the Diversity Research Supplement Awards are now accepted twice a year – May 1 and November 1.

Award payments will be made in two installments:

  • An initial payment of $4,000 is made to the recipient’s institution at the start of the award period.
  • The remaining $1,000 is payable upon receipt of the medical student’s summary of their research experience, following the end of the award period, and the institution’s financial reconciliation.
Fritzlaine Roche and Dr. Harris-Tryon Photo

“Increasing the diversity of resident trainees is the only way to improve the diversity gap within the dermatology workforce.”

Disparities in Academic Dermatology

Lester J, Wintroub B, Linos E JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Aug 1; 152(8):878-9.


A significant way to reduce health care disparities is to improve diversity in the physician workforce.

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