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Following Anti-DEI Proposal, American Academy of Dermatology Votes To Keep Its Diversity Policies 

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recently voted against a proposal to terminate its diversity, equity, and inclusion (#DEI) initiatives, a move celebrated by Black dermatologists as a significant victory for the organization and the field at large. The proposal, initiated by some AAD members, argued that DEI efforts were detrimental rather than beneficial. However, the AAD's advisory board decided not only to maintain but to expand its commitment to diversity and inclusion, reinforcing its stance against discrimination and aiming to address healthcare disparities.

This decision was influenced by testimonies from dermatologists of various backgrounds who highlighted the positive impact of DEI on the field. Black #dermatologists, who constitute just 3% of the profession in the United States, emphasized the importance of #DEI programs in addressing racial disparities within dermatology, including misdiagnoses and mistreatments due to a lack of understanding of how skin conditions manifest on darker skin tones. Initiatives like the Diversity Mentorship Program, which pairs medical students from underrepresented groups with experienced dermatologists, were particularly lauded for their role in fostering diversity.

The resolution's rejection occurred during the AAD's annual meeting in San Diego, following robust debate and expressions of support for DEI from both members and leadership. The proposal's initiator cited concerns over DEI being perceived as a political movement that restricts free thought and enforces a divisive narrative, though he later clarified his intent was to promote an even more inclusive policy. Critics of the proposal, including a collaborative effort by doctors Jeanine Downie, Heidi Waldorf, and Wendy Roberts, argued that it misrepresented DEI's goals and benefits, gathering substantial support to uphold and expand DEI initiatives within the AAD.

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Link: NBCNews


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