Researching unconscious bias in health care – Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D.

Researching unconscious bias in health care - Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D.



the body of evidence is very very deep that a lot of what we do is based on very rapid unconscious processes and that we respond to people very very quickly without even knowing it based on you know years and years of exposure to ideas so we store ideas together let's say a physician walks into the room and the patient is black right and this is a physician who is great genuinely consciously unbiased wants to provide the best care has very high levels of unconscious racial bias as do 80% of white Americans so our faith our physician you know our hero walks in sees the patient gets interrupted twice it's worried about another patient is tired what happens then is what we all do is we rely on stored information about the person we're like okay this is what I know about black people right this isn't conscious less likely to comply right these are the stereotypes it's not true less intelligent without even thinking about it our hero sits down with good intentions and is already seeing this patient through this framework the lens because the unconscious processes are trying to be efficient like quick quick quick you know what do we know a lot people quick quick quick maybe eye contact or body language reflex this right and now the patient is you know a little hesitant and maybe that hesitation is interpreted in a way that's consistent with the stereotype we finally got NIH funding to recruit a very large stratified random sample of medical students from 49 schools in that study we were actually just looking at the medical school and student factors that affected bias among graduating in new physicians we have another study right now in the field in which we're trying to prevent any detrimental effects of the experience of race in white medical schools for black medical students I believe that healthcare systems are out in front insane you know we're not ignoring this we know that our intentions are extremely strongly Galit Aryan it's part of our principles but we also know that there's this huge body of work that says maybe sometimes we're not even aware of this well we're going to make sure that we do know you

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2 thoughts on “Researching unconscious bias in health care – Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D.

  1. Affirmative Action is institutionalized, systemic racial & sexual discrimination expressly targeting white males by the gov, businesses and society at large.. it’s objectively real. I can open a law book an point to it.
    you people want to talk of some vague, invisible, subjective bias that doesn’t exist, because you can’t explain differences in outcomes without scapegoating white People as being evil white racist supreeemacists. Disgusting.

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