La Roche-Posay and the Women’s Dermatologic Society Partner for a First-of-Its-Kind Inaugural Diversity in Dermatology Fellowship for Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM) medical students at Howard University

NEW YORK, Oct. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — La Roche-Posay is proud to partner with the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) to sponsor a Fellowship in the Department of Dermatology at Howard University’s College of Medicine for UIM medical students. The fellowship was created to support UIM candidates who are seeking additional clinical or research experience in dermatology prior to applying to residency.

Dermatology is one of the most competitive medical specialties. It is also one of the least diverse, only second to orthopedic surgery, where only 3% of dermatologists are Black. Medical students must match with a program to move forward into residency. This Fellowship hopes to increase representation in Dermatology by providing an opportunity to support those students whose application may need to be strengthened. A fellowship of this nature can be a step in securing a spot in dermatology residency programs.

During this year-long fellowship, the fellow will conduct translational and clinical research in addition to participating in Howard University’s dermatology clinics and community outreach events.

About Fellowships:

Many Dermatology Fellowship programs are unfunded, which limits the number of people that can participate in them. Even if the candidate has the grades, talent and drive to become a fellow, they may not have the financial means to support themselves.

The Diversity in Dermatology Fellowship was designed by a committee from the Women’s Dermatologic Society, La Roche-Posay and Howard University to include the following:

  • A livable salary that includes a stipend for health insurance
  • A grant for the fellow to conduct research in dermatology
  • Funding for Howard University’s dermatology professors to support the fellow’s learning
  • A travel stipend for the Fellow to attend match interviews as well as two family visits during the fellowship

This year’s Diversity in Dermatology fellow is Chidubem Okeke. Ms. Okeke is a 3rd year medical student at Howard University College of Medicine and Co-President of its Student Dermatology Society. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and a Minor in Inequality Studies. She is primarily interested in understanding skin diseases that disproportionately affect skin of color patients to help reduce health disparities. Additional research interests include contact dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, and diversity and inclusion in medical education. She is co-chair of the Scarring Alopecia Foundation’s Journey to Acceptance medical student working group, which offers support resources for those affected by scarring hair loss. As the WDS-La Roche-Posay Dermatology fellow, she is excited to continue pursuing her passions for dermatology research as well as patient education and outreach.

“This inaugural first of its kind, collaborative fellowship is a three-year commitment which promises to prioritize DEI in dermatology. Change comes in the form of action, and that is precisely what this partnership is aiming to accomplish” says President, Women’s Dermatologic Society and Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine, Mona Gohara, MD.

The partnership with WDS and La Roche-Posay, a leader in dermatologist-recommended skincare, with Howard University, a historically Black research university, brings together three separate institutions in the industries of academia and organized medicine for a visionary and first-of-its-kind collaboration. 

“I was fortunate enough to receive an academic scholarship to college, which was not something my family could have afforded otherwise. Being able to support funding for an incremental opportunity for a DEI candidate is something I am proud to pay forward. As someone who came from an economically challenged family, it was important for me to include the travel stipend so that this fellow would not have to choose between interviewing at a residency program or flying home to spend the holidays with their family. I have every confidence this program will allow a bright medical student to become an incredible dermatologist” says Vice President, Medical & Media Relations, La Roche-Posay, Tyler Steele.

“I am grateful to the WDS and La Roche-Posay for funding this fellowship. It provides an accessible opportunity for UIM students to obtain research experience, mentorship and networking opportunities at the only dermatology department at an Historically Black University.

Although mentoring a fellow is rewarding and enjoyable, the time commitment is often under-appreciated. The structure of this fellowship acknowledges this, and provides funds for protected time for faculty who invest time into the fellow‘s development” says Ginette A. Okoye, MD FAAD.

To apply for the Fellowship next year, students will be able to scan a QR code that will direct them to the application. 

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit

About Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS)

The Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization as designated by the IRS. Founded in 1973, WDS’s mission is to empower and connect women dermatologists through personal and professional development, mentorship, service and leadership. 


Recommended by 90,000 dermatologists worldwide, La Roche-Posay’s mission is to offer life-changing dermatological skincare. La Roche-Posay offers a unique range of daily skincare developed for every skin type to address various skin concerns and complement prescription treatments. At the center of the brand is the exclusive selenium-rich La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, a core ingredient in its skincare formulas known for its soothing and antioxidant properties that is sourced from its Thermal Center in France, the first Dermatology Center in Europe. The products are developed using a strict safety and formulation charter with a minimal number of ingredients and are formulated at optimal concentrations. Additionally, La Roche-Posay products undergo stringent clinical testing for efficacy and safety with over 750+ studies and 25 years of extensive research, even on sensitive skin.

For additional information about La Roche-Posay, visit and follow La Roche-Posay USA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LaRochePosayUSA

SOURCE La Roche-Posay

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