ACD ASM celebrates steps towards closing the gap

3 May 2022

Dr Tom Barrett, Dr Crystal Williams, Dr Artiene Tatian and Dr Dana Slape

Four Aboriginal dermatologists have taken part in the conferring ceremony at the ACD ASM.

The graduates, Dr Dana Slape, Dr Crystal Williams, Dr Artiene Tatian and Dr Tom Barrett were officially presented with their graduation certificates at the ceremony which was attended by special guest Associate Professor Kelvin Kong.

Dr Slape has previously credited Associate Professor Kong, an Aboriginal ear, nose and throat surgeon, as being a wonderful mentor to her during her medical training.

According to the College, the conferring of four First Nations graduates together is a first for any medical specialty.

“We are proud to be the first specialist college to have such a number of First Nations dermatologists conferring together,” ACD President Dr Clare Tait said.

“The majority of these graduates have come through our Federally-funded designated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specialist training program position which opens up opportunities for First Nations doctors with a strong commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.”

Dr Tait said such positive recruitment and support strategies were aimed directly at increasing the diversity of the workforce and helping to close the gap by providing better access to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Our First Nations dermatologists are actively engaged and working with communities that have been underrepresented when it comes to access to care and are leading the way in delivery of culturally safe models of care,” she said.

Part of the work being achieved by the dermatologists includes:

  • the establishment of a First Nations teledermatology service in Victoria,
  • the establishment of a new community-based hospital dermatology service in Yilli Rreung (greater Darwin),
  • providing outreach services in Darwin and Katherine,
  • active involvement in international and national medical boards and committees,
  • delivering care to the communities of South Western Sydney, and
  • initiating delivery of dermatology care in the NSW prison system.

“The instrumental gains in dermatological care to underserviced Australians provided by our First Nations Fellows is something we are deeply proud of,” Dr Tait said.

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