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The program has returned with a renewed focus for Black and skin of color-dominant residency programs in addition to those with limited access to mentorship resources.
Since its inception in 2012, the Society for Pediatric Dermatology’s Nancy Esterly Pediatric Dermatology Visiting Lectureship program has enabled prominent pediatric dermatology experts to travel across the country to visit residency programs without access to pediatric dermatology resources and conduct lectures, seminars, and rounds to promote inclusivity and diversity in skin studies.
Though the program had been cancelled the last 2 years due to COVID-19 restrictions, it has returned with a renewed focus for Black and skin of color-dominant residency programs in addition to those with limited access to mentorship resources.
Speaking to the strength of the program, 2 of the previous lectureship recipients, Jane S. Bellet, MD, FAAD, Duke University School of Medicine and Bernard A. Cohen, MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, spoke of recent residency visits to Mississippi and New Orleans.
In both instances, the exposure to pediatric dermatology among residents and mentees was limited. But both Bellet and Cohen were able to speak to the intricacies of pediatric dermatology to residents eager for knowledge.
“Even for a resident that is going to become a general dermatologist, it's just so important that they understand the breadth of pediatric dermatology and what might be out there and whether they might need to ask for help, even if they're far away from a pediatric dermatologist,” Bellet said. “So, there's just a really good conversation and a really great time to spend with them.”
Cohen added that he’s seen the influence of the Nancy Esterly Pediatric Dermatology Visiting Lectureship program in previous mentees who have gone on to study pediatric dermatology.
“We actually developed a mentorship connection with someone who became a pediatric dermatologist at the University of Mississippi,” Cohen said. “She was training in dermatology and she made a connection to do a fellowship and return to the University of Mississippi. We now have a number of her residents both in pediatrics and dermatology working on some cases for some articles (and) a number of different things. So it's just been a way to stimulate things.”
Both doctors believed that one of the strengths of the Nancy Esterly Pediatric Dermatology Visiting Lectureship comes from the communal nature of the program. Bellet, Cohen, and other lecturers have been able to bridge the gap between specialties through lectureships and even dinners, allowing for the conversations to take on a more inclusive and friendly tone.
Bellet added that the program gives experts an opportunity to help promote pediatric dermatology in residency programs with young and culturally diverse members.
“Thinking about the historically Black colleges and universities, there are a number of medical schools and whether we can partner with them to really increase sort of the just awareness of pediatric dermatology, and then being able to move on and inspire people, like we're already doing with this program, I think is something that's really, really important,” Bellet said.
To hear the full conversation between Dr. Bellet and Dr. Cohen, watch the video above.