EVMS recently hosted the very first Melanin in Medicine conference.

Members of the Student National Medical Association and Dermatology Club organized the event on Nov. 9.

Organizers wanted to bring awareness to the various skin conditions that plague individuals of all races and ethnicities.

During the conference students attended lectures, interactive patient panels and an exhibitor fair. Among the topics of discussion were skin, nail and hair disorders, Vitiligo diagnosis and treatment and Melanoma.

Students from Norfolk State University, College of William & Mary, Hampton University and Christopher Newport University attended the event, as well as several high school students from Maury High School, Bayside High School and Norfolk Academy.  

“Events like this are important as there is a great need to increase the number of racially and ethnically underrepresented minorities in health care,” says Taylor Dyson, MD Class of 2022. “Melanin in Medicine is one example of how EVMS is taking steps to increase the diversity in the field of medicine, specifically dermatology.”

Ms. Dyson, who serves as president of the Dermatology Club, hopes to specialize in the field and focus on skin of color. “Events, such as Melanin in Medicine, further increase my desire to pursue this field. Attendees shared stories and experiences regarding the great need of for an increase of diversity and representation in this area. Hearing their testimonies of trials, tribulations and triumphs regarding skin care for underrepresented individuals is the most valuable thing I took away from this event.”

Organizers say the conference was such a success that they are already planning for next year’s event.