The Biased Doctor
Hey guys, so just about every weekend consists of me doing several things. The first is to catching up on all the house work that I either had no time or was too tired to get to during the week, the next is to catch up on my medical related articles.
*Quick sidenote, I always figured that once I became an attending that my long studying/reading days were over but it's so far from the truth that I'd figure I'd let my residents soon to be attendings know now.*
So an email comes in with the title “Are You an (Institutional) Racist?
“, written by a great blogger Dr. Liu. Surely with a title like that you just have to see what's the fuss about right? Immediately Dr. Liu hits it on the head the affects our medical training has had on influencing certain prejudicial thoughts and behaviors affecting patient care. With the disproportionate amount of police related killings of minorities in every part of the country it's easy to see how a systemic issue can be the root of the issue.
In fact recently the graph above depicts a survey done by Medscape which measured the different levels of bias amongst the different specialties and there wasn't a single speciality not affected. Like Dr. Liu I challenge my physicians/physician assistants/nurses/other health professionals to see exactly what biases we hold within ourselves and see what are the best ways to rectify them. Our actions may not have the immediate affects as these police have in regards to shooting someone because their darker skin tone is seen as more of a threat but if I don't order certain blood tests or imaging service because of my preconceived notions and something adversely happens the end result is no different.