Health Disparities


Access to dermatologic care is limited for patients with Medicaid coverage. Furthermore, health disparities exist related to follow-up treatment options among Medicaid patients, especially among children. Barriers to quality pediatric dermatologic care in rural communities may be exacerbated by the shortage of pediatric dermatologists and the geographic maldistribution of pediatric dermatologists, as approximately ninety-eight percent of pediatric dermatologists practice in metropolitan counties. 


We hope to provide insights into potential barriers to quality dermatologic care that communities with rural, predominantly Spanish-speaking populations experience with the aim of informing interventions to reduce dermatologic health disparities. Specifically, we are interested in investigating access to dermatologic care in rural pediatric populations in California.

In addition, we are conducting studies to gain insight on barriers and opportunities to access to education, clinical care and research participation for individuals in under-resourced communities. We will interview educators, caregivers and health care professionals, as well as administrators in schools, federally funded clinics, school based health centers, and public health resources.

Melanoma Facts

  • On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they have had more than five sunburns.1
  • Overall survival for melanoma in people of color is significantly lower than in White populations.2
  • Hispanic and Black patients are more likely to diagnosed with later stage melanoma.3
  • Advanced stage at presentation and poor prognosis of melanoma have been associated with patients with lower socioeconomic status.4  
  • Skin cancers account for 3% of pediatric cancers.5
  • Tanning devices can emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation at 10 to 15 times higher than the sun at its peak intensity.6
  • Melanoma in people of color most often occurs on areas that get little sun exposure, such as the palms, soles, and nailbeds.7

Recent Publication

Diversity in pediatric dermatology: A report from the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance and a call to action. Pediatr Dermatol. 2021;38 Suppl 2:96-102. doi:10.1111/pde.14756

Dr. Siegel was previously the president-of the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA). In this study, PeDRA conducted an analysis of the composition of PeDRA’s membership, leadership, grant awardees, and research topics and discuss PeDRA’s next steps in our efforts to diversify our organization.