Australian dermatology trainee opinions on skin of colour education: Does it reflect the changing demographics of our population?

Over the last 10 years, Australia has seen a significant increase in the population of residents with skin of colour, with a near doubling of Asian-born residents during this period1. This trend is projected to continue.
Importantly, dermatologic disorders in skin of colour are known to have distinctive clinical manifestations and varying prevalence and that require unique treatment2. In view of this, as well as ongoing changes in Australian demographics, it is important that dermatologists are sufficiently trained to assess and manage conditions in the ethnic population.
We conducted a questionnaire-based study to examine the opinions of current Australian dermatology trainees towards skin of colour and determine the adequacy of training in this area. Online survey data was collected from >50% of the 109 registrars undertaking dermatology training in 2016.
This study suggests that there is a need and desire for increased exposure to and education in skin of colour dermatology during dermatology training in Australia.
1. Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2016. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved from
2. Kundu RV, Patterson S. Dermatologic conditions in skin of color: part I. Special considerations for common skin disorders. Am Fam Physician;7:50-6.

Dr. Edmund Wee