Dr. Smith is a dermatology resident from Detroit, Michigan. She’s a first-generation college student who has always had a desire to be a doctor. Dr. Smith was a flight attendant when she saw dermatology as a way to help people, as she sadly reports that only 3% of dermatologists in the U.S. are Black. She took a leap of faith and that’s when she found the Aspire Higher Scholarship Program, which awards U.S. college students living with dermatologic conditions with scholarships. Dr. Smith says it was Aspire that helped turn her dream into a reality. dermatologist
Dr. Smith can relate to individuals dealing with skin conditions. She has sebopsoriasis and suffered in silence like so many others.
She decided she could help people like herself by ditching the friendly skies and putting on a lab coat.
Dr. Smith was blessed to have a family who inspired her to push toward her dream and passion. Realizing that everybody doesn’t have that type of support, she made a commitment to mentor other students and encourage individuals who may not be thinking about the field of medicine.
Dr. Smith explains how having more Black dermatologists would help decrease the impact skin conditions have on the mental health of patients who aren’t getting the proper care.
She says a pimple could be 100 different things and describes how shocked non-Black dermatologists are when they learn that “Black people don’t wash their hair daily.”
Having more Black dermatologists would provide comfort and a level of vulnerability for patients. The patients don’t have to explain as much as there is a “cultural competency”
Dr. Smith speaks about Rosacea, a common skin condition that “doesn’t translate in darker skin” and discoid lupus, a condition where