When Uzoamaka Okoro ’16 MD’20, EB Henebeng MD’21, and dermatology resident Nicole Negbenebor MD’18 RES’23 organized the Skin of Color Community Series last fall, their goal was to bring dermatological expertise to marginalized communities chronically overlooked by the medical establishment. What they didn’t expect was to inspire new friendships and therapeutic healing.
The three friends bonded over a shared passion for outreach. “We were all looking for some way to involve more of the community and make [skin of color]more of a priority—not only for Brown Dermatology, but for Providence in general,” says Okoro, who graduated in the spring and will complete her dermatology residency at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “Before we knew it, we had a program started.”
Even at elite universities, much of medicine is still taught using a “one size fits all” approach, and in dermatology, Caucasian skin is the default, Negbenebor says.