Implicit Bias and Healthcare, Part ii

Even though health professionals will deny conscious bias when asked, it has manifested into severe forms of abuse within healthcare.

One historical example is the Tuskegee syphilis study, in which Black men were targeted to determine the effects of untreated, latent syphilis even though there was a cure and treatment for the disease (Marcelin et al., 2019). As a result many Black Americans in 2020 do not have trust in the medical community especially as it relates to research, resulting in poor representation in pharmaceutical research.

Healthcare facilities are addressing implicit bias by educating healthcare personnel to increase their awareness. Health professionals should be aware of their own implicit bias that may affect patient care and outcomes. Stereotypes must be addressed by society to facilitate change within all aspects of life including healthcare.

Most of us do not realize we have a bias or will not admit to having one. A culture change must occur, and it starts with you! Educate yourself and find your insecurities and address the stereotypes you have about others.

Chapman EN, Kaatz A, Carnes M. Physicians and implicit bias: How doctors may unwittingly perpetuate health care disparities. J Gen Intern Med. 2013;28(11):1504‐1510. doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2441-1

Marcelin, J. R., Siraj, D. S., Victor, R., Kotadia, S., & Maldonado, Y. A. (2019). The Impact of Unconscious Bias in Healthcare: How to recognize and mitigate it. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 220(Supplement_2), S62-S73. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiz214

Quinn-Szcesuil, J, (Jan 3, 2018) Recognizing implicit bias in ealth Care Settings. Blog, Minority and Community Health, Nursing Students Retrieved from https://minoritynurse.com/recognizing-implicit-bias-health-care-settings/

Published by Dr. Marilyn Crosby, PhD, MBA, RN

An experienced registered nurse with a variety of nursing experience in all many areas of healthcare, including critical care, research, program management quality, and complementary care. I have a passion for "all things related to health & wellness" and want to share pertinent information.

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