Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Suguru Imaeda


The homeless population is at increased risk for skin disease. Exposure to the elements and lack of access to medical care contribute to the problem. To date there have been few studies analyzing the medical comorbidities that put homeless patients at increased risk for skin disease. The aim of this study is to discover what medical conditions are associated with skin disease to allow physicians to better screen their homeless patients for skin disease. The secondary aim of this study is to determine whether medical students are being adequately trained to recognize medical conditions associated with skin disease. Data from the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (CICH) was used to look for diseases associated with skin conditions in the homeless population. Positive correlations with hearing problems, bronchitis, adjustment reaction disorder and eye problems were found. Medical students did not generally identify these as correlated with skin disease. Numerous social conditions were associated with skin disease, with medical students identifying some, but not others. When seen in a homeless patient, these conditions should signal the clinician to screen for skin disease.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access