Dr. Cheryl Burgess: Using Her Artistic Skills As a Derm & Why Black Clinical Research Matters
Updated: Jan 14
When it comes to dermatology, Dr. Cheryl Burgess of the Center for Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery in Washington, DC., is in the 1%. She is among an elite group of key opinion leaders in the entire field with affiliations that range from the American Academy of Dermatology to her role as a board member of the Skin of Color Society. She is also a clinical research investigator and holds four patents for a technique that she perfected almost twenty years ago. Not bad for a woman who wanted to be an artist. But she even found a way to infuse her love of art into her work with patients.
She shares that it was a summer research project at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) while she was at Howard University's Medical School, where she got to see what Accutane could do that piqued her interest in the field. She shares how she worked at Kaiser for several years while simultaneously building her private practice.
Dr. Burgess talks about how important it is to have dermatologists of color, not only because patients prefer it but also because of the cultural competency that comes along with that. Her patients don't have to explain their nightly haircare rituals, she understands. But she also points why younger derms of color must look at clinical research investigation. The FDA will not approve a device or procedure as safe for use on darker skin if it hasn't been tested on it. And doctors of color are well-positioned to ensure that the right precautions are taken to try products and procedures on BIPOC patients safely.
She shares that dermatology has become one of the most competitive residencies. Hence, we have to start preparing students in high school to excel in medical school and their first board examinations.
Hear about all of this and more in this episode!