Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

New CPS chapter addresses lack of diversity of skin colour in clinical education resources

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is thrilled to publish our newest CPS chapter, Dermatological Considerations in Skin of Colour. With dozens of images and tips for patient assessment, this new chapter aims to address the underrepresentation of diversity in clinical education and literature concerning the diagnosis and treatment of dermatological conditions in individuals with skin of colour.

This lack of diversity in clinical education has resulted in a significant knowledge gap for health professionals that has put patients with skin of colour at risk of misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.

The new content aims to address this knowledge gap by providing evidence-based information on:

  • physiologic/functional differences between skin colours
  • health inequities in dermatology
  • common cultural practices affecting the skin and hair
  • consideration of skin colour when completing a physical assessment
  • dermatological conditions that occur predominantly in skin of colour
  • information on how the presentation and/or management of common dermatological conditions may differ in darkly pigmented skin compared with lightly pigmented skin

There is a long history of systemic racism and bias in health-care education and publications. As a leading publisher of drug and therapeutic information, CPhA recognizes our responsibility and the role our content can play in ensuring equitable care.

Related: Addressing systemic bias and racism in our therapeutic content

CPS is used by tens of thousands of health practitioners every day in Canada so the impact of this resource will be far-reaching. CPhA is committed to supporting equitable care and ensuring that we are doing our part to address the systemic racism found in many aspects of our health-care system.

"This new chapter is the latest development in the ongoing review of our clinical content that our editorial team has undertaken over the past 3 years to identify and address instances of bias, racism and discrimination,” says Dr. Sarah Jennings, CPhA’s Editor-in-Chief. “The process has included an overhaul of reference images found in CPS, language and content related to race and ethnicity, and language related to sexual orientation and gender identity."

Check out the new Dermatological Considerations in Skin of Colour chapter in CPS Full Access to learn more.

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"There are major racial disparities in the quality of care received by patients with skin of colour presenting with dermatological conditions. This is often due to the lack of images of darker skin tones used in resources, guidelines and educational material, the lack of inclusive language used in dermatology (for example, using terms such as redness or erythema without acknowledging how they may present in skin of colour), and the lack of education for health-care providers around skin of colour. The Dermatological Considerations in Skin of Colour chapter demonstrates that CPhA is recognizing and acknowledging the racial disparities experienced by patients with skin of colour and taking action to close this knowledge gap. It is only through representation and education that we can improve the quality of care provided to patients with skin of colour."

Afomia Gebre headshot

Afomia Gebre, pharmacist and member of CPhA's Editorial Advisory Committee