Implicit Bias Recognition and Management: Tailored Instruction for Faculty

J Natl Med Assoc. 2021 Jun 14:S0027-9684(21)00074-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jnma.2021.05.003. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Implicit bias instruction is becoming more prevalent across the continuum of medical education. Little guidance exists for faculty on recognizing and debriefing about implicit bias during routine clinical encounters.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact and feasibility of single seminars on implicit bias and the approach to its management in clinical settings.

METHODS: Between September 2016 and November 2017, the authors delivered five departmental/divisional grand rounds across three different academic medical centers in New York, USA. Instruction provided background information on implicit bias, highlighted its relevance to clinical care, and discussed proposed interventions. To evaluate the impact of instruction participants completed a twelve-item retrospective pre-intervention/post-intervention survey. Questions related to comfort and confidence in recognizing and managing implicit bias, debriefing with learners, and role-modeling behaviors. Participants identified strategies for recognizing and managing potentially biased events through free text prompts. Authors qualitatively analyzed participants’ identified strategies.

RESULTS: We received 116 completed surveys from 203 participants (57% response rate). Participants self-reported confidence and comfort increased for all questions. Qualitative analysis resulted in three themes: looking inward, looking outward, and taking action at individual and institutional levels.

CONCLUSION: After a single session, respondents reported increased confidence and comfort with the topic. They identified strategies relevant to their professional contexts which can inform future skills-based interventions. For healthcare organizations responding to calls for implicit bias training, this approach has great promise. It is feasible and can reach a wide audience through usual grand rounds programming, serving as an effective early step in such training.

PMID:34140145 | DOI:10.1016/j.jnma.2021.05.003